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theMennonite 




January 5, 1999 



iders say readers say readers say 


This publication welcomes 
your letters, either about our 
content or about issues fac- 
ing the Mennonite church. 
Please keep your letters 
brief — two or three para- 
graphs — and about one 
subject only. We reserve the 
right to edit for length and 
clarity. Publication is also 
subject to space limitations. 
Send your letters to Readers 
Say, The Mennonite, P.0. Box 
347, Newton, KS 67114. 

Or you can email us at: 
theMennonite@gcmc.org. 
Please include your name 
and address. We will not 
print letters sent anony- 
mously, though we may 
withhold names at our dis- 
cretion . — Editors 


2 


Consultation comments 

It is encouraging to know that a Jerusalem 
Conference will convene to address concerns 
about church membership and homosexuality 
(“General Boards Approve Consultation to 
Address Membership, Homosexuality Before 
St. Louis 99,” Dec. 8). One of the salient 
dimensions of the Acts 15 conference was an 
awareness that the church had become multi- 
cultural and international. Noting the involve- 
ment of the Antioch church leadership in that 
conference and the international nature of the 
Antioch church, it is likely that representatives 
were present from Asia, Africa and Europe as 
well as the Middle East. 

Today the Mennonite church is also inter- 
national. Fifty-five percent of the worldwide 
church membership is from younger church- 
es. These churches have often sought counsel 
from the long-established churches in Europe 
and America in their times of discernment. 

When North American Mennonites convene 
their Jerusalem Conference, will there be a 
commitment to hearing the counsel of the 
younger churches? Will there be an awareness 
that we do not walk Christ’s way alone? My 
perception is that younger churches are fol- 
lowing the North American church conversa- 
tion with concern. They would have helpful 
counsel to offer if we are ready to listen. We 
sought their counsel when the confession of 
faith was developed. Will their voice also be 
heard in our Jerusalem Conference? — David 
W Shenk, Klaipeda, Lithuania 

On Dec. 5, 1 read about the general boards call- 
ing for a consultation on membership and homo- 
sexuality issues. In our congregation the next 
morning we sang “There’s a Wideness in God’s 
Mercy.” I would like to suggest that this hymn 
become the theme song for any consultations 
on these issues. Perhaps it could also become 
the theme song for our integrated denomina- 
tion as well. — Brent Sprunger, Newton, Kan. 

Conference, congregation, conciliation? 

Re “Southeast Conference Disciplinary Action 
Maintains Warm Relations With Congregation” 
(Dec. 15): A few corrections are in order. First, 
a factual error: Atlanta Mennonite Fellowship 
did not agree to “revisit its position on homo- 
sexuality and church membership,” as the arti- 
cle stated. Rather, AMF agreed to revisit its 
decision-making process about membership. 
This includes, but is not limited to, our consen- 
sus decision that sexual orientation is not a bar 

theMennonite January 5, 1999 




to full membership at AMF. The difference is 
significant. The process and not the outcome 
is at issue. 

Second, and more important, the article 
failed to convey the profound grief felt by many 
AMF members concerning this decision. We 
were backed into a corner where our options 
were to be voted out of the Mennonite Church, 
withdraw completely from Southeast or close 
our doors to gay and lesbian Mennonites. Faced 
with these unacceptable choices, we made a 
good faith effort at the mediation process and 
did our best to find another way. That way is to 
remain in as much relationship as is tolerable 
to Southeast without compromising our policy 
of hospitality to all. 

This solution is clearly problematic because 
while it resolves the immediate issue facing 
the conference, it does not address justice and 
acceptance for gay and lesbian people. Until 
the church comes to a point where all can truly 
agree and disagree in love and fellowship, we 
will continue to hack up the body of Christ. 
Such dismemberment is nothing to celebrate. 
That there was no acrimony or bitterness 
expressed at the Dec. 5 delegate meeting does 
not heal the divisions between Southeast and 
AMF. Nor does it reflect the sorrow and dismay 
that we, as part of AMF, feel as a result of this 
process. We believe in the mediation process 
and that it was very ably carried out Nonetheless, 
the outcome is not a radical departure from 
other acts of exclusion in the Mennonite 
Church. — Joyce Short, Daniel Schultz, Tim 
Wyse and Elaine Swartzentruber, Atlanta 

It was both encouraging and painful to read 
about Atlanta Mennonite Fellowship and 
Southeast Conference. It was encouraging to 
see that the fellowship and the conference, 
with the help of Mennonite Conciliation 
Services (MCS) were able to talk through 
their differences even though there was a part- 
ing of the ways. 

It was painful because it was a pointed 
reminder of the process that led to the expul- 
sion of Germantown Mennonite Church in 
Philadelphia from Franconia Conference. No 
one involved in that process, myself included, 
had the wisdom or insight to seek the kind of 
help MCS provides. Other than the secret bal- 
lot vote, the most painful aspect of that experi- 
ence was the almost complete absence of con- 
versation between the congregation — despite 
the welcoming by the congregation of such 
conversation — and those who could not live 


t he Mem 


Vol. 2, No. 1, January 5, 1999 



4 Presence 

Every day brings a goodness that mixes change and continuity 

5 God is not finished with me yet 

Reflections on unfinished agenda upon turning 70 

6 The kingdom of God is here 

We are called to live out the invisible not known by the world 


8 News 

Church-planting goal • responding to Mitch • power pay 

12 Newsbriefs 

13 For the record 

15 Wider world 

16 Editorial 

The footnote for 2 Timothy 1:12b 


j Editor: J. Lome Peachey 
Associate editors 
Feature: Gordon Houser 
News: Rich Preheim 
! Marketing: Marla J. Cole 
I Advertising: Melanie Mueller 
I Secretary: Dotty Anderson 
Design consultant: 

Judith Rempel Smucker 


Offices: 

616 Walnut Ave. 

Scottdale, PA 15683 
theMennonite@mph.org 

722 Main St., P.O.Box 347 
Newton, KS 67114 
theMennonite@gcmc.org 

Phone 1-800-790-2498 


Web site: http://www.mph.org/themennonite 


theMennonite 

Incorporating Gospel Herald (1908-1998) and TheMennonite (1885-1998) 

The Mennonite seeks to serve the U.S. context of the integrating General Conference Mennonite Church and Mennomte 
Church by helping readers glorify God, grow in faith and become agents of healing and hope in the world. TheMennonite 
(ISSN 1522-7766) is published weekly on Tuesdays— except for March 30, June 29, Aug. 3 and Nov. 30 in 1999— by the 
GC-MC Interim Periodical Board. Periodical postage paid at Scottdale, PA 15683-1999. Canada Post international publica- 
tions mail sales agreement no. 128562, GST no. R122192453. Subscription rates: $34.95 (U.S.) per year. Group rates avail- 
able. The views expressed in this publication do not necessarily represent the official positions of The Mennonite, the Interim 
Periodical Board, the General Conference Mennonite Church or the Mennonite Church. 

Postmaster: Send form 3579 to 616 Walnut Ave., Scottdale, PA 15683-1999. 


r readers say 

with a congregation that allows gays and les- 
bians as members — the kind of conversation 
that Carolyn Schrock-Shenk and Dave Brubaker 
facilitated. — Boyd Reese, Bridgewater, Va. 

The perils of fishing 

The report of Merrill Ewert on Mennonite 
Central Committee workers (“MCCers, Evan- 
gelicals Differ in Development Work,” Nov. 3) 
shows the need to leave old models behind as 
we move into the 21st century. Ewert says 
MCC workers emphasize enabling people to 
fish rather than just giving them fish to eat. It 
may be true that giving people fish only allows 
them to eat for a day, but there is now ample 
evidence that teaching people to fish destroys 
the fishery. In the United States alone there 
are nearly 80 overfished stocks and 10 additional 
stocks approaching an overfished condition. 


The United States and Canada are the most Cover photo 
intensive consumers of resources in the world, by Micah Marty 
We cannot merely export these models under 
the guise of community-based development 
without a much deeper understanding of long- 
term environmental sustainability. 

After all, what good is a church if you don’t 
have a habitable planet to put it on? — David E. 

Ortman, Seattle 

Lack of understanding 

I understand that several area conferences are 
indicating a reluctance to join the new Menno- 
nite Church unless membership standards for 
congregations entering the new denomination 
are decided on first. Perhaps I am naive, but 
this leaves me very puzzled. Do each of these 
area conferences really want the denomination 
to have authority to tell them who can and 
cannot be a member? Surely I am failing to 
understand something. — Robert L. Ramsey er, 

Bluffton, Ohio 


theMennonite January 5, 1999 


3 



He loads the thick cloud with 
moisture; 

the clouds scatter his light- 
ning. 

They turn round and round 
by his guidance, 
to accomplish all that he 
commands them 
on the face of the habitable 
world. 

Whether for correction, or 
for his land, 

or for love, he causes it to 
happen. — Job 37:5-1 3 


by Martin Marty 

Above all let me live in your presence. Let every 
day combine the beauty of spring, the brightness 
of summer, the abundance of autumn, and the 
repose of winter . — St. Thomas Aquinas 

T he gift of simplicity brings change in the 
midst of continuity. It does not bring the 
mere and constant change that can 
unsettle and devastate the spirit, but 
instead that which overcomes the mere and 
constant sameness that can numb and induce 
boredom. Those who live in zones where sea- 
sons change drastically do well to let the 
changes signal both differing gifts and possi- 
bilities as well as a need for the warmth and 


The text and photo on this page come from the book When True Simplicity Is Gained: 
Finding Spiritual Clarity in a Complex World by Martin Marty and Micah Marty 
(Eerdmans, 1998). The book combines text by Martin Marty with photographs by his 
son Micah. It is the fourth book they've done together. The book's title comes from the 
Shaker hymn "The Gift to Be Simple," and Micah Marty's black-and-white photographs 
portray Shaker arts, artifacts and buildings. Martin Marty's meditations are based on 
prayers of the church and emphasize the gift of simplicity. 


vitality of cherished continuity. 

Climate control, we call it: We chop and 
burn the wood or turn up the thermostat for 
warmth in winter. In summer we ice the water 
and turn down the thermostat to cool the air. 
Busily we twist and turn dials, open and close 
windows and shutters, and change apparel to 
adjust to the two intervening seasons. 

Doing all these permits some of the beauty 
and brightness, the abundance and repose of 
the four seasons to be enjoyed year-round. But 
can one own this beauty, and only this, daily? 
Not in any simple way. Millions have suffered 
physically from the floods of spring, the 
drought of summer, the famine of fall and the 
violence of winter. Spiritually, people suffer as 
well. 

The One who sets the seasons, however, 
comes as a presence through each of them. 
Where we choose to ignore that presence, 
change devastates or sameness upsets. Where 
that presence is realized, each day makes 
available for our receiving a goodness that 
mixes change and continuity in all seasons of 
weather, for all seasons of the soul. 


God thunders wondrously 
with his voice; 

he does great things that we 
cannot comprehend. 

For to the snow he says, "Fall 
on the earth"; 

and the shower of rain, his 
heavy shower of rain, 

serves as a sign on every- 
one's hand, 

so that all whom he has 
made may know it. 

Then the animals go into 
their lairs 

and remain in their dens. 

From its chamber comes the 
whirlwind, 

and cold from the scattering 
winds. 

By the breath of God ice is 
given, 

and the broad waters are 
frozen fast. 




4 


theMennonite January 5, 1999 


God 


Reflections on unfinished agenda upon turning 70 


by Edgar Stoesz 

A s I approach my 70th birthday, I am 

nowhere near the saint I thought in my 
youth I would be by this stage in life. 

Nor am I as good as I still hope to be, 
but God and I are still working at it. 

I have made some progress, to be sure. I 
don’t get angry as often. I am not so quick to 
speak and I am more likely to take into account 
how others may be affected by what I say 
although with some disgusting lapses. My hor- 
monal drives are more moderate. I am less dri- 
ven, even to the point of being amused by the 
ambitions of those who are in that earlier stage 
of life. 

Mostly I have enjoyed my 60s. It has been a 
good stage of life for me, but I find myself per- 
plexed over so much unfinished agenda. I will 
be more specific. 

My inability to let go of accumulated grudges and 
hurts: It doesn’t get easier. Maybe it gets more 
difficult as the list gets longer and the arteries 
harder. I mean to release that stuff, I would 
like to, but it lingers, like nuclear waste, and 
distracts from the person I would like to be. 
Maybe that is what Paul means when he chal- 
lenges us to release the weights that accumu- 
late and interfere with our ability to run the race. 

My growing tendency to scorn inexperience: The 
Boomer generation has not been as receptive 
to the accumulated wisdom of our generation, 
and that makes me cynical. I am amused by 
their zeal and confidence, and I wonder if they 
know how silly they sometimes look, doing the 
things we used to do. At the same time, I 
remind myself that we want them to take over. 
But I always imagined it would be different. 

My undisciplined approach to spirituality: Prayer 
and contemplation have never been easy for 
me, and I don’t find them getting easier. 
Having more time is offset by being more set 
in my ways. I am hoping this can still happen 
maybe when I really retire — but as of now it is 
mostly as it was, which is not altogether as I 
would like it to be. 

I could go on — the list is long. I can only 
plead with God and others around me to be 
patient; God is not finished with me yet. We’re 
still working at it. 

Edgar Stoesz lives in Akron, Pa. 



Prayer and contem- 
plation have never 
been easy for me, 
and I don't find them 
getting easier. 
Having more time is 
offset by being more 
set in my ways. 


theMennonite January 5, 1999 



The kingdom is not out of the reach of sinful humanity, 
not hidden in an idyllic past, not limited to a reward 
in the distant future. It is here, now, among us, within us. 
And it makes us who we are. 


The kingdom of Go 


by Joan L. Hockman 


The heart of 
"Mennonite- 
ness," of both our 
theology and the 
applied theology 
of how we go 
about our daily 
lives, is our belief 
that the kingdom 
of God is here. 


T he kingdom of God” is a phrase familiar 
to all of us. When we try to define it, 
however, we find that it is a mysterious 
and elusive thing. Jesus used parables to 
teach us about it. He likened it to a sower who 
sowed good seed, to a tiny mustard seed, to 
yeast hidden in flour, to a treasure hidden in a 
field, to a net let down into a lake. These exam- 
ples show us a kingdom at once near and 
obscure, of great value but easily overlooked. 

John the Baptist, more succinct but no less 
mysterious, merely said, “Repent, for the king- 
dom of heaven is at hand.” He made no 
attempt to define the kingdom but chose 
rather to announce its arrival and tell us what 
our response to it should be. 

In Luke 17 we find the Pharisees also won- 
dering about the kingdom of God. Jesus told 
them, “The kingdom of God does not come by 
your careful observation, nor will people say, 
‘Here it is’ or, There it is,’ because the king- 
dom of God is within you.” And this, I believe, 
is the heart of the mystery: The kingdom of 
God is here. 

I teach a remarkable adult Sunday school 
class at Topeka (Ind.) Mennonite Church. 

Only one member was born into a Mennonite 
family; the rest of us come from widely vary- 
ing backgrounds. After studying some basic 
theology and church history, we are now 
focusing on the specific history and theology 
of our Anabaptist heritage. We are doing a 
series I have called “How to Be Mennonite for 
Fun and Eternal Profit.” One Sunday I asked 
them what they thought was the essence of 
“Mennonite-ness.” They suggested service, 
the peace position, community, the ethic of 
love and humility. These are certainly a part of 
who we are, but I believe they are evidence of 
something deeper, more fundamental, that lies 
at the root of who we are as Mennonites. 

The heart of “Mennonite-ness,” of both our 
theology and the applied theology of how we 
go about our daily lives, is our belief that the 
kingdom of God is here. We are set apart from 
other groups by the fact that we live as part of 
the kingdom of God. We know the kingdom is 



“not yet” in its full- 
ness, but we also 
know that it is here 
and that we are 
already part of it. 

This understand- 
ing of the kingdom of 
God is a result of our 
theology of the incar- 
nation. When the 
Word became flesh 
and came among us, 
the kingdom of God 
broke into time and 
space. Because we 
carry within our- 
selves the image of 
God and because we 
have been united with 
Christ, we are citizens 
of God’s kingdom. 

That kingdom is not 
far away, out of the 
reach of sinful 

humanity; it is not hidden in an idyllic past; it 
is not limited to a reward in the distant future. 
It is here, now, among us, within us. And it 
makes us who we are. 

We Mennonites are defined by our under- 
standing that we live in the kingdom of God. 
Others often know us for our emphases of love, 
service, global awareness, peace, justice and 
community. These are some of the outward 
consequences of living in the kingdom of God. 

Love: Mennonites have an ethic of love 
because love characterizes the kingdom of 
God. We do not kill or go to war because these 
things have no place in God’s kingdom. We 
have been called “the Sermon on the Mount 
people,” and that is good, for that sermon 
describes life in the kingdom of God, and we 
believe the kingdom of God is here. 

Service: Mennonites are people of service 
because we follow a servant king, and service 
characterizes his kingdom. We support Men- 
nonite Central Committee, do voluntary ser- 
vice and work for Mennonite Disaster Service 


theMennonite January 5, 1999 



Mennonites have an ethic of love 
because love characterizes the king- 
dom of God. 


We are called to 
live out some- 
thing invisible, 
to embody with- 
in our communi- 
ty a reality not 
known by the 
world. 


Joan L. Hockman lives 
in Topeka, Ind., and 
does spiritual direc- 
tion. This article is 
based on a talk she 
gave last October at 
an Indiana-Mich iga n 
Conference women's 
mission rally. 


because the kingdom of God is here. We shop 
at Ten Thousand Villages, can meat and make 
soap, make school kits and health kits and 
send towels to other countries because the 
kingdom of God is here. 

Global awareness: Mennonites have a global 
ethic because our King loves and cares for all 
people. We have been called “the more-with- 
less people” because we believe that the king- 
dom of God is here and that globally responsi- 
ble behavior is necessary in that kingdom. We 
go to Mennonite World Conference to worship 
with brothers and sisters from around the 
world because there the kingdom of God is cel- 
ebrated visibly. We send our college students 
on service terms so that they will learn and 
experience the truth of that kingdom. We are a 
peripatetic people, with full passports contain- 
ing stamps of countries unknown to many peo- 
ple, because the kingdom of God is here. 

Peace and justice: Mennonites work for peace 
and justice because these are characteristics of 
the kingdom of God. We support Christian 


Peacemaker Teams, 
the mediation work of 
MCC and the Victim 
Offender Reconcilia- 
tion Program because 
we are members of 
God’s kingdom. 
Community: And we are 
people of community, 
a people known for 
good singing and 
good food, because 
the kingdom of God 
manifests itself among 
us. We value relation- 
ships, consensus and 
process in our life as a 
people, because we 
are a part of the king- 
dom of God. We work 
to achieve a polity of 
love rather than force, 
consensus rather than 
violence, because we 
and our polity form a living part of God’s king- 
dom. 

We are not perfect, as individuals or as a 
people. For that we await the fullness of the 
kingdom, to come in the fullness of time. 

But we have a vision of a kingdom at once 
here and not yet. Our eyes see a reality the 
world doesn’t see. We are called to live out 
something invisible, to embody within our com- 
munity a reality not known by the world. And in 
this common vision we have coherence, our 
eccentricities make sense, our countercultural 
position is inevitable. In our kingdom life 
together, we give witness to the God who is our 
King. And, as my Sunday school class will testi- 
fy, others are drawn to us by what they see. 

The kingdom of God is here. We are each a 
part of that kingdom. We are a part of the mus- 
tard seed, the yeast, the hidden treasure, the 
net let down into the lake. The kingdom of God 
is here; the kingdom of God is among you; the 
kingdom of God is within you. Live in the king- 
dom of God. 


theMennonite January 5, 1999 


7 


s news 


Abraham and Sarah's spiritual descendants 
still multiplying as church planting nears goal 


Our progress 
shows that God 
has been working 
and that a lot of 
people have been 
praying in the 
prayer network. 

— Marilyn Miller 


NEWTON, Kan. — The General Conference 
Mennonite Church (GC) is ahead of schedule 
for planting 50 new churches in North America. 
Forty-one congregations have joined area con- 
ferences and/ or the General Conference 
Mennonite Church since 1992, while another 
29 congregations are emerging. 

“We’re on track to reach our goal by the end 
of 1999, two years early,” says Lois Barrett, 
executive secretary for the Commission on 
Home Ministries. 

GC delegates approved the church-planting 
project at their triennial sessions in Sioux 
Falls, S.D., in 1992, passing a “Resolution to 
Laugh with Abraham and Sarah.” The measure 
called for planting 50 new congregations by 
2001. The project’s name comes from the bibli- 
cal story in which Abraham and Sarah laughed 
in disbelief at being told Sarah would bear a 
child in her old age and that their descendants 
would number “as grains of sand and stars in 
the sky.” The name also refers to Sarah and 
Abraham’s joyous laughter at the arrival of 
their son, whom they named Isaac, or 
“Laughter.” 

“We want spiritual descendants as numerous 
as [were promised to Abraham and Sarah],” 
says Marilyn Miller, director of outreach min- 
istries for CHM and Abraham and Sarah pro- 
gram coordinator. 

Before the resolution came to GC delegates 
at Sioux Falls, Miller contacted mission minis- 
ters and mission committees from all the GC 
area conferences. “I wanted to know what kind 
of goal they thought we could reach, what would 
stretch them but was still possible,” she says. 

“Some in 1992 thought 50 was too high,” 
Barrett says. “And it’s turning out to be a con- 
servative estimate.” 

The 70 planted or emerging Abraham and 
Sarah congregations are located in 14 states 


Languages of the faith 

Of the 41 new and 29 emerging congregations resulting from the 
Abraham and Sarah church-planting program, 37 speak languages 
other than English: Spanish, 12; Indonesian, seven; Lao, three; 
Chinese, Ethiopian, Hmong, Taiwanese and Vietnamese, two 
each; Cambodian, French, German, Japanese and multilingual, 
one each. — GCMC News Service 



Members of Hmong Mennonite Church erect the congrega- 
tion's sign outside their Arvada, Colo., meeting place. 
Established in 1995, Hmong is one of 41 new congregations 
established as part of a General Conference Mennonite Church 
program to plant 50 congregations by 2001. More than half of 
the church plants speak languages other than English. 

and five provinces, from Nanaimo, B.C., to 
Boca Raton, Fla., and from Winnipeg to Ferris, 
Texas. Of those congregations, 37 speak lan- 
guages other than English (see box below). 

Between 235 and 250 Abraham and Sarah 
Prayerletters go out several times a year to con- 
gregations and individuals, providing updates 
on the progress of new congregations and 
including a list of emerging congregations for 
special prayer attention. The Prayerletters are 
edited by longtime overseas workers Eudene 
and Levi Keidel, now living in Fort Wayne, Ind. 

“Our progress shows that God has been 
working and that a lot of people have been 
praying in the prayer network,” Miller says. 

CHM provides training, consultation and 
resources to congregational leaders and to area 
conference mission committees, which do the 
actual church planting. CHM has also provided 
occasional financial subsidies for new congre- 
gations. In addition, Abraham and Sarah 
Caravans have traveled to several of the new 
congregations for one to two weeks. Caravan 
members have helped with building and reno- 
vation projects and activities to help attract and 
introduce people to the new congregations. 

CHM has connected the Abraham and Sarah 
project with its City on a Hill program, which 
each year awards a $25,000 grant to an urban 
ministries initiative in the United States or 
Canada. — Melanie Zuercher of GCMC News 
Service 


8 


theMennonite January 5, 1999 


M( ( photo by M Sl;i 


Miller 


Living a miracle 

Central, North Americans 
continue response to Mitch 

AKRON, Pa— Carmen Levia didn’t have much. 
And after Hurricane Mitch caused Nicaragua’s 
Lake Managua to overflow its banks and wash 
away her home, she has even less. 

But on Dec. 10, Levia had just a bit more, 
thanks to Mennonite Central Committee 
(MCC) and the agency’s supporters. She 
received one of the first 260 hurricane relief 
kits distributed by MCC. “I don’t feel so alone 
anymore,” says Levia, who now lives in a ware- 
house and sleeps on plastic sheeting on the 
cement floor. 

“People were overjoyed and surprised by 
the buckets,” says MCC relief worker Jim 
Hershberger, who helped distribute the kits in 
villages around Lake Managua. “The soap, 
toothpaste and towels were items they could 
use immediately. Most [recipients] are 
Christian, so they really appreciated the Bibles 
that were also included.” 

It has been more than two months since 
Mitch wreaked unprecedented havoc through 
Central America. Since then, Mennonites there 
and across North America have responded 
generously to needs in several countries. 

Help in Honduras: Honduran Mennonites are 
helping about 6,000 families, or 30,000 to 40,000 
people, mostly by providing food. In San Pedro 
Sula, MAMA, a ministry of the Honduran 
Mennonite Church, presents Christian stories, 
songs and activities plus a snack for the chil- 
dren living in a village of tents in the parking 
lot of a city stadium. An estimated 2,800 people 
displaced by Mitch are living on the stadium 
grounds, and another 2,200 people are expect- 
ed to join them. 

“We’re going to give thanks to God this 
morning,” MAMA staff member Lavinio de 
Ochoa told the children one morning. “Do you 
know why? Because we were spared.” 

“Si! (yes!),” shouted the children. 

MAMA is also helping 600 families in poor 
neighborhoods in the area and has organized 
medical help and provided food and cooking 
utensils. MAMA is also sending volunteer teach- 
ers to shelters to work with children who have 
lost a month or more of school time. With the 
Honduran Mennonite Church, MAMA hopes to 
repair 200 homes and build 150 more over the 
next year. Church staff are planning food-for- 
work projects to clean homes, streets, health 
centers and other facilities. 

“There are two kinds of miracles: one in 
which God does the will of humans and one in 
which humans do the will of God,” says Hon- 
duran Mennonite leader Melvin Fernandez. 



‘We are now living that second kind of miracle.” 

A Honduran Mennonite congregation has 
donated a block-making machine to one com- 
munity so people there can begin rebuilding 
houses. Another congregation served as a 
temporary health clinic even though it was 
damaged by flood waters. 

Members of the Mennonite colonies in 
Belize, largely spared Mitch’s wrath, have 
responded to needs in neighboring Honduras 
with food, fresh water, building supplies and a 
food-for-work project. 

For some Belizian Mennonites, their response 
is rooted in having survived Hurricane Hattie 
in 1961. “Since we experienced a hurricane 37 
years ago, we still remember what it was like,” 
says Esther Reimer of the Spanish Lookout 
colony. 

Funds for farmers: Meanwhile, 66 Nicaraguan 
farm families are the first recipients of hurri- 
cane reconstruction aid from Mennonite 
Economic Development Associates. Each fami- 
ly will receive $150 to replace crops destroyed 
by Mitch. The assistance is part of a $640,000 
package of grants and loans MEDA is provid- 
ing for hurricane victims in Nicaragua. 

“It’s as if the land was scraped bare by a 
giant paw,” says MEDA president Ben 
Sprunger following a December visit to the 
region. “Where fertile valleys once produced 
crops, now there are only boulders, stones, 
tangled trees and raw earth.” 

In Broadway, Va., Mennonite-af filiated Cor- 
nerstone Church and Cornerstone Christian 
School raised $14,000 for hurricane relief 
through their Christmas musical and dramatic 
production. The five mid-December presenta- 
tions drew 4,200 people . — MCC News Service 
with MEDA News Service and Ken Gonyer 


Mennonite Central Commit 
tee worker Holly Herr (left) 
and Dorcas Ramos bag beans 
in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, 
part of a project of local 
Mennonite youth to provide 
victims of Hurricane Mitch 
with food, laundry soap and 
other supplies. The items 
were purchased with emer- 
gency funds supplied by MCC. 
Herr, from Harrisonburg, Va., 
is serving with MCC's SALT 
program for young adults. 
Her assignment in a daycare 
center has been interrupted 
by responding to needs 
caused by the hurricane. 


Mitch contributions 
boost MCC finances 

Thanks in part to Hurricane 
Mitch, Mennonite Central 
Committee (MCC) has seen 
U.S. donations soar in 1998. 

Giving to MCC by U.S. 
contributors totaled $16 mil- 
lion through November 
1998, compared to $13.3 
million the year before. Of 
the $2.7 million jump, $2 
million was earmarked for 
MCC's response to Mitch. 
Included in that giving were 
funds from 3,000 new indi- 
vidual donors. 

MCC has received $3.6 
million in contributions from 
the United States and Canada 
for Mitch. — MCC News Service 


theMennonite January 5, 1999 


9 



rs news news news news news news 


EMU students 
start scholarship 

It costs a lot of money to 
attend college these days. 

No one knows that better 
than a college student. 

That's why students at 
Eastern Mennonite Universi- 
ty (EMU), Harrisonburg, Va., 
have started a need-based 
scholarship fund for future 
students. 

"We're concerned about 
the growing number of stu- 
dents who lack the necessary 
financial resources to attend 
and reap the benefits of an 
EMU education," says Lara 
Fisher, an EMU senior from 
Harrisonburg. 

So far $6,500 has been 
raised toward the goal of 
$25,000. A large share of 
that money was generated 
during a student workday 
in October. 


Correction: Two English 
Mennonites paid fines of 
about $60 for their protest 
at an arms fair. The amount 
was incorrect in the Dec. 29 
The Mennonite. 

10 


MEDA paved Haitian road to restoration 

Needy workers received $1.5 million in wages 


WINNIPEG — It’s only a gravel road, but for 
the hill-dwellers of Haiti, it’s a lifeline to the 
outside world. It’s their only way to bring in 
food supplies, reach medical facilities and 
transport products to market. 

The road is the result of FUKREC, a Menno- 
nite Economic Development Agency (MEDA)- 
managed program to refurbish Haiti’s infra- 
structure while creating short-term jobs and 
injecting cash into a starved economy. The 
program came into being four years ago when 
Haiti’s already desperate national economy lost 
thousands of jobs as a result of the economic 
embargo imposed following a military coup. 

The Canadian International Development 
Agency provided several million dollars to 
MEDA to help jump-start the economy and get 
cash into the hands of the poor who had suf- 
fered the worst during the embargo. 

The MEDA project, which ended last month, 
created 716,313 person-days of employment 
and paid $1.5 million (U.S.) in wages to Haitians. 
One hundred twenty-five miles of roads were 
rehabilitated; 44 miles of irrigation canals and 
nine miles of drainage canals were repaired; 
five bridges were built; three schools were 
rehabilitated; six springs were improved; 
993,558 tree seedlings were produced and 
planted; 9,196 fruit trees grafted; 3,209 people 
were trained; and 4,193 people received litera- 


cy training. Overall, an estimated 20,000 fami- 
lies benefited directly from the project. 

“It gave short-term jobs to people who 
needed the cash the worst,” says Willys 
Geffrard, the project’s manager. 

Most people who worked on the various 
FURREC projects said they were able to satis- 
fy important household needs with the money 
they earned. Some paid school fees and bought 
books for their children; others purchased basic 
necessities, such as food and medical care. Some 
workers invested in livestock and gardens. 

But FURREC’s results were not just person- 
al. In many cases, decrepit roads that were lit- 
tle more than mule paths were widened, flat- 
tened and terraced to provide suitable all- 
weather transportation. 

Haitians also noted that soil conservation 
efforts have protected their lands and increased 
crops. Over the years many farmers had come 
to depend on expensive and scarce chemical 
fertilizers which over time deplete the soil. 

The use of compost has helped regenerate the 
soil and combat certain types of destructive 
insects. A follow-up program is being studied 
for further environmental steps and to train 
partner organizations. An application has been 
made to the Canadian International Development 
Agency to fund the next phase . — Wally Kroeker 
of MEDA News Service 


MBM worker leads Swedes on third Peruvian visit 


LIMA, Peru — For the third time, Tom Rutsch- 
man, a Mennonite Board of Missions worker 
in Sweden, led a group of teachers and stu- 
dents from Jokkmokk, Sweden, to Lima, Peru, 
this past fall. 

All trips have been made with financial sup- 
port from either the Swedish government or 
KLM Airlines, which covered the cost of the 
first trip in 1995 as the result of a contest. 

“I was really surprised that the Ministry of 
Education granted us a stipend for the trip,” 
says Rutschman, who is a teacher and pastor 
in Jokkmokk. “But they obviously see the 
importance of exposing Swedes to life in a 
developing country. I sure see how this experi- 
ence changes people’s perspectives on life.” 

Much of the time was spent with street chil- 
dren in Lima. Through the Swedish Save the 
Children, the group was put into contact with 
Generacion, a Peruvian home for street chil- 


dren. The Swedes met 13-year-old Angelo, 
whose bandages from being hit by a car need- 
ed to be changed and who bravely tried not to 
cry as his sores were cleaned. And Miguel 
Angel, whose drug-addicted girlfriend left him 
with his 6-month-old daughter dying of AIDS. 
And Osito, whose mother died and whose new 
stepmother didn’t want any of the husband’s 
children to live with them. 

Then there is Emerson, whom Rutschman 
first met four years ago and who is no longer 
on the street. Emerson now works and studies 
but admits that street life has left him without 
emotions. “I can’t cry,” he laments. 

The Swedish group also visited Characato, a 
shantytown in southern Peru, where students 
and people from Jokkmokk are helping to 
build a multifunctional center that will house a 
day-care center, a health center and a work 
cooperative . — MBM News Service 


theMennonite January 5, 1999 


MCC Canada to redirect portion of electric bill 


WINNIPEG — Hydroelectric power benefits 
many people. But the Cross Lake Cree com- 
munity in northern Manitoba has lost a lot 
more than it has gained. 

Hydroelectric development in the 1970s 
I caused flooding, affected water levels and cut 
Cross Lake’s ancestral ties to land and water 
which produced their food and livelihood. 
Government agreements with the five Cree 
bands remain unfulfilled. 

So Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) 

! Canada has decided to deposit 10 percent of its 
electric bill — about $140 (Canadian) a month — 
in a trust fund as a way for the Cree to collect 
on debts owed them by the provincial and fed- 
eral governments. A 1977 agreement with the 
federal and Manitoba governments and 
Manitoba Hydro power company was sup- 
posed to provide the Cree with compensation 
and alternative means of livelihood. 

“Before Manitoba Hydro came and put dams 
in the Nelson River, ... I was a trapper, I was a 
fisherman, I was a hunter,” says chief Sandy 
Beardy. “From those three I managed to raise 
my family.” 

The decision to redirect a portion of the 
electric bill came at MCC Canada’s annual 
meeting in November. 

“This action reflects the delegates’ frustration 
at the injustice experienced by the Cross Lake 
people,” says Marv Frey, MCC Canada execu- 
tive director. “We know this is a very unusual 



EMM photo by Dale D. Gehman 


Arms for raising, hugging 

Lorraine Payne prays a blessing on her 5-year-old 
daughter, also named Lorraine, on Dec. 6 during the 
first anniversary celebration of Way of Life Ministries 
in Philadelphia. The congregation is a church plant of 
Lancaster Conference's Philadelphia District. More 
than 75 people attended the celebration. 


step for MCC, and we will be consulting with 
our constituency as well as with other church 
groups who have been working with the peo- 
ple of Cross I^ke for more than 20 years.” 
MCC Canada’s ties to Cross I^ke go back 
to 1975 when the agency was part of an inter- 
church group that held public hearings on 
hydroelectric development in northern 
Canada . — MCC Canada News Service 


Concord College 
Menno Simons College & 
Canadian Mennonite Bible College 

have developed Mennonite College Federation, a cooperative association of 
colleges committed to the Biblical faith, and rooted in the Anabaptist/Mennonite 
tradition. This partnership will lead to the significant expansion of academic 
programming. Over a period of several years the three colleges expect to hire a 
number of faculty in a variety of the social sciences, humanities and other areas. 


The three colleges invite applications for the following 

faculty positions 

scheduled to be filled for September, 1999: 

Menno Simons College (MSC): 

three positions in Conflict Resolution Studies (CRS) 
Canadian Mennonite Bible College (CMBC) : 
one position in humanities or social sciences, 
one position in Anabaptist studies/Church History, and 
one position in organizational leadership and management 
Concord College (CC): 
one position in humanities or social sciences 

Qualifications 

• Ph.D. , completed or nearly complete 
(candidates for the CRS positions will be 
expected to have done graduate work in that discipline) 

• commitment to the Christian faith and mission of the college 


Please direct applications or inquiries regarding these positions, or similar 
positions which will open up in the coming years to the following: 
MSC: President; Menno Simons College; 380 Spence SL; 

Winnipeg, MB R3B 2E9 (204) 786-9895; fax: (204) 783-3699; 
e-mail: george.richert@uwinnipeg.ca 
CMBC: Dean; CMBC; 600 Shaftesbury Blvd; Winnipeg, MB 
R3P 0M4 (204) 888-6781; fax: (204) 831-5675; 
e-mail: dean@confmenno. ca 

CC: Dean, Concord College; 169 Riverton Ave.; Winnipeg, MB 
R2L2E5 (204) 669-6583; fax: (204)663-2468; 
e-mail:drdyck@concordcollege.mb.ca 


theMennonite January 5, 1999 


11 


by the 
way ... 

Sixty-one percent of people 
of color in the General Con- 
ference Mennonite Church 
and Mennonite Church have 
never been members of any 
other denomination. 

— Parkwood Research 
Associates 


School's out for MCC center in Burkina Faso 

OUGADOUGOU, Burkina Faso — The close 
of 1998 meant the close of a Mennonite Central 
Committee language school in Burkina Faso. 

For more than 10 years, MCC workers 
going to French-speaking countries in Africa 
— Burkina Faso, Chad and Congo — had stud- 
ied at the center. But as the number of volun- 
teers has declined, the center has increasing- 
ly become a resource for other agencies. 
Among those which used the center were 
mission organizations — including Baptist, 
Lutheran, Methodist, Nazarene and Presbyterian 
— and development agencies such as Save the 
Children Fund and the Peace Corps. Individ- 
uals preparing for work in West and Central 
Africa also studied at the center . — MCC News 
Service 

CMC leader to retire after St. Louis convention 

WINNIPEG — Helmut Harder, general secre- 
tary of the Conference of Mennonites in 
Canada, has announced his retirement, effec- 
tive in August after the joint convention in St. 
Louis. He has been CMC general secretary 
since 1990. 

Harder says the highlights of his tenure 
have been visiting congregations on behalf of 
CMC, the integration of CMC with the 
General Conference Mennonite Church and 
Mennonite Church, and involvement in draft- 
ing the Confession of Faith in a Mennonite 
Perspective. 

Harder taught at Canadian Mennonite 
Bible College in Winnipeg from 1962 until he 



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was named CMC general secretary. While at 
CMBC he also served as executive director 
for the Foundation Series Sunday school cur- 
riculum and as the school’s interim president. 

Longtime media worker to leave position 

HARRISONBURG, Va.— After 43 years of 
working with production and distribution of 
media materials as a mission outreach for 
Mennonite churches, Kenneth J. Weaver will 
step down this summer as director of Menno- 
nite Board of Missions’ Mennonite Media. 

Weaver’s career in church media began in 
1956, and since then his work has ranged 
from traditional radio broadcasts to TV spots 
to videos to the Internet. 

“As we respond to the changing media 
communications field and move into the new 
Mennonite Church structure, Mennonite 
Media will need extensive networking with 
leadership in the new Mennonite Church, 
media professionals and communications 
departments of other denominations,” he 
says. “Also, at age 67, this seems like a good 
time for me to pass that leadership role to the 
next generation, who grew up in the electron- 
ic communication age .” — MBM News Service 

Provident to consolidate Ohio bookstores 

SCOTTDALE, Pa. — Provident Bookstores has 
added another Ohio bookstore, which will be 
combined with another into one operation. 

Provident, owned and operated by 
Mennonite Publishing House, at the end of 
December became owners of Loaves and 
Fishes Christian Book Store in Wooster. The 
store had been owned by founders Phil and 
Betty Frank since 1974. In July 1998, 
Provident had acquired Martin’s Christian 
Book Store in Orrville. 

‘We want to combine these two businesses 
into a new location with more than twice the 
combined space and selection,” says 
Provident director Jack Scott. 

Bluffton to break ground on new building 

BLUFFTON, Ohio— Bluffton College will 
mark the start of construction for its new aca- 
demic center with a Jan. 12 groundbreaking 
ceremony. President Lee Snyder will present 
her state-of-the-college address in Founders 
Hall at 10 a.m. and then lead a procession to 
the construction site. The new facility, which 
will include classrooms, offices and media 
and computer centers, is part of a $10.5 mil- 
lion capital campaign. 


12 


theMennonite January 5, 1999 




he r 


Beachy, Lydia Victoria, Jan. 

I 29, 1 997, received for adoption 
I Nov. 18, 1998, by Dan and Tina 
(Ginder) Beachy, Harrisonburg, 
Va. 

Beck, Gabriel Aaron, Nov. 22, 
i to Deana and Duane Beck, 

| Archbold, Ohio. 

Bontrager, Benjamin Lee, 
Dec. 13, to Fritz and Kris (Miller) 
Bontrager, Shipshewana, Ind. 
Burkholder, Justin 
Kenneth, Dec. 10, to Karen 
(Frankenfield) and Kenneth 
Burkholder, Souderton, Pa. 
Chrisman, Isaac Josef, Oct. 

20, to Andrew and Jil (Scalglia) 
Chrisman, Boise, Idaho. 
Gingerich, Harrison James, 
Dec. 12, to Jennifer (Eder) and 
Jeremy Gingerich, Canby, Ore. 
Hurst, Kortney Noelle, Dec. 
17, to Randall and Sandra 
(Peachey) Hurst, Stevens, Pa. 
Litwiller, Matthew Joseph, 
Dec. 15, to Heather and Matthew 
Litwiller, Washington, Iowa. 
Musick, James Edmond, Nov. 
28, to Boyd and Mary Musick, 
Monterey, Va. 

Mierau, Ryne Connor, Dec. 

10, to Robert and Tammy 
(Schwindt) Mierau, Seward, Neb. 
O'Donnell, Nathan Joseph, 
Nov. 19, to Denise (Godshall) and 
Terry O'Donnell, Hatfield, Pa. 
Peters, Katherine Lynn, Dec. 
6, to Douglas and Roberta 
(Rodgers) Peters, Ashland, Neb. 
Ponce, Gabriel Antonio, Dec. 
6, to Anjelican (Campos) and 
Josh Ponce, Terre Haute, Ind. 
Schell, Rachel Katherine, 
Dec. 12, to Dawn (Detweiler) and 
Scott Schell, Gainesville, Fla. 
Shisler, Maura Devan, Dec. 4, 
to Joanna (Bergey) and Matthew 
Shisler, Telford, Pa. 

Simkins, Matthew 
Alexander, Oct. 23, to Barbara 
Ann (Dean) and John Simkins, 
Marietta, Pa. 

Wagler, Cassie Leigh, Nov. 

20, to Angela and Mark Wagler, 
Tavistock, Ont. 

Yoder, Bradi Korin, Dec. 13, to 
Juanita (Christner) and Rob 
Yoder, Shipshewana, Ind. 


Marriages 

Guengerich/Miller: Gail 
Guengerich, Harrisonburg, Va., 
and Steven Miller, Dec. 19 at 
Harrisonburg Mennonite Church. 
Hostetler/Sanford: Tara 
Renee Hostetler, West Liberty, 
Ohio, and Dennis James Sanford, 
DeGraff, Ohio, Nov. 28 at West 
Liberty. 

Deaths 

Boese, Gertrude Rinner, 85, 

Moundridge, Kan., died Nov. 29. 
Spouse: Ben Boese (deceased). 
Parents: Arnold and Mabel Eicher 
Rinner (deceased). Survivor: 
brother A. James Rinner. Funeral: 
Dec. 3 at Alexanderwohl Menno- 
nite Church, Goessel, Kan. 
Brenneman, Elwyn, 79, 
Kalona, Iowa, died Dec. 9 of can- 
cer. Spouse: Eva Yoder 
Brenneman. Parents: Ray and 
Alta Fern Miller Brenneman 
(deceased). Other survivors: chil- 
dren Jeanette Bulechek, Charlene 
Mullet, Debbie Birky, Larry; 14 
grandchildren. Funeral: Dec. 12 
at Kalona Mennonite Church. 
Detweiler, Clayton, 74, 
Perkasie, Pa., died Nov. 17. 
Spouse: Kathryn Halteman 
Detweiler. Parents: Clayton and 
Alice Detweiler (deceased). Other 
survivors: children Lois Alderfer, 
Marty Savanick, Julie Frankenfield, 
David, Wayne, Clayton Jr., Kevin; 
15 grandchildren. Funeral: Nov. 
22 at Deep Run Mennonite 
Church East, Perkasie. 

Eldridge, Rachel, 88, Goshen, 
Ind., died Nov. 26. Spouse: Murl 
Eldridge (deceased). Parents: 

Levi and Minnie Pearl Miller 
Hooley (deceased). Survivors: 
children Wanda Jones, Betty 
Sark, Nancy Hitts, Richard 
Arnold, Terry Arnold; stepchil- 
dren Bonnie Arnold, Donna 
Fisher, Virginia Morse, Dorothy 
Christner; 14 grandchildren; 17 
stepgrandchildren; 27 great- 
grandchildren; 22 step-great- 
grandchildren; two great-great- 
grandchildren. Funeral: Nov. 29 
at Goshen, Ind. 


Epp, Owen, 74, Henderson, 
Neb., died Dec. 3. Spouse: Inez 
Epp. Other survivors: children 
Michael, Debra Mierau; seven 
grandchildren; two great-grand- 
children. Memorial service: Dec. 

5 at Henderson. 

Freeburne, LaReta Sharp, 

82, Aberdeen, Idaho, died Dec. 1. 
Survivors: children Jerry, Ted; 
three grandchildren, one great- 
grandchild. Funeral: Dec. 5 at 
First Mennonite Church, Aberdeen. 
Gingerich, Paul, 73, Salem, 
Ore., died Nov. 3. Memorial ser- 
vice: Nov. 4 at Zion Mennonite 
Church, Hubbard, Ore. 

Huber, John, 69, Lancaster, Pa., 
died Dec. 7 from heart problems. 
Spouse: Mary Huber (deceased). 
Parents: Benjamin and Florence 
Myers Huber (deceased). 
Survivors: children Larry, Robert; 
four grandchildren. Funeral: Dec. 
Hat East Petersburg (Pa.) 
Mennonite Church. 

Kolb, Gerald, 57, Springs, Pa., 
died Dec. 13 of a heart attack. 
Spouse: Chamlong Kolb. Parents: 
Merle and Maxine Rodamer Kolb. 
Other survivors: daughter Dawn. 
Funeral: Thailand. 

Lapp, Nancy Swartzentruber, 
62, Sellersville, Pa., died Dec. 6 of 
multiple myeloma. Spouse: 

James Lapp. Parents: Ernest 
(deceased) and Fannie 
Swartzentruber. Other survivors: 
children Cindy, Michael, Philip; 
three grandchildren. Funeral: Dec 
11 at Blooming Glen (Pa.) 
Mennonite Church. 


Leatherman, Abram, 86, 

Doylestown, Pa., died Dec. 13. 
Spouse: Florence Moyer Leather- 
man (deceased). Parents: Jacob 
and Bessie Leatherman (deceased). 
Survivors: children Shirley Godshall, 
Arlene DuBree; six grandchildren; 
five great-grandchildren. Funeral: 
Dec. 18 at Line Lexington (Pa.) 
Mennonite Church. 

Martin, J. Weldon, 80, 
Harrisonburg, Va., died Dec. 8 of 
a heart attack. Spouse: Lorene 
Troyer Martin. Parents: Perry and 
Annie Wenger Martin (deceased). 
Other survivors: children Dennis, 
Jay, John, Carol Grimesey, Susan 
Kaylor, Rachel Swartz; 13 grand- 
children. Funeral: Dec. 12 at Grace 
Covenant Church, Harrisonburg. 
Orellana, Stephen 
Valdemar, infant, Kitchener, 
Ont., died Dec. 9. Parents: Elias 
and Karem Orellana. Other sur- 
vivor: brother Kevin. Funeral: 

Dec. Hat First Mennonite 
Church, Kitchener. 

Ryan, Ella, 88, Sarasota, Fla., 
died Nov. 25 of complications 
from a broken leg. Funeral: Nov. 
28 at Bay Shore (Fla.) Mennonite 
Church. 

Shenk, Retta Boyer, 99, 

Gettysburg, Pa., died Nov. 15 of 
congestive heart failure. Spouse: 
Coffman Shenk (deceased). 
Parents: Martin and Mary Boyer 
(deceased). Survivors: children 
Charles, Martin; 11 grandchil- 
dren; 23 great-grandchildren. 
Funeral: Nov. 18 at Bethel 
Mennonite Church, Gettysburg. 


Stutzman, Blanche, 8;, 

Minonk, III., died Dec. 9. Spouse: 
Carl Stutzman (deceased). 
Parents: Joseph and Katie Roggy 
King (deceased). Survivors: chil- 
dren Vernon, Donald, Stan, Roy, 
Wilma Bean; 15 grandchildren; 

1 1 great-grandchildren. Funeral: 
Dec. 12 at Roanoke Mennonite 
Church, Eureka, III. 

Stutzman, Marion, 87, 
Millersburg, Ohio, died Dec. 13. 
Spouse (1st): Edna Beechy 
(deceased); (2nd): Lillie Purdy 
Rowe Stutzman. Parents: David 
and Frances Kaufman Stutzman 
(deceased). Other survivors: chil- 
dren Arlene Hart, Karen Lamp, 
Marjory Gerber; seven grandchil- 
dren; three stepgrandchildren; 
seven step-great-grandchildren. 
Funeral: Dec. 16 at Martins Creek 
Mennonite Church, Millersburg. 
Zook, Palmer, 95, Sugarcreek, 
Ohio, died Dec. 12. Spouse: Dona 
Fern Hershberger Zook (deceased). 
Parents: E. T. A. and Katie Ann 
Mast Zook (deceased). Survivors: 
children Lowell, Dorcas Miller- 
seven grandchildren; seven 
great-grandchildren; three great- 
great-grandchildren. Funeral: 
Dec. 15 at Walnut Creek (Ohio) 
Mennonite Church. 


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theMennonite January 5, 1999 


13 



classifieds 


Classified advertising 
space in The Menno- 
nite is available to 
congregations, con- 
ferences, businesses, 
and churchwide 
boards and agencies. 
Cost for one-time 
placement is $1 per 
word, minimum of 
$25. To place a classi- 
fied ad in TheMen- 
nonite, call 800-790- 
2498 and ask for 
Melanie Mueller. 


• Lancaster Mennonite High School has a custodial position 

available when the new gym opens in mid-January. Contact Miles Yoder at 
LMH, 717-299-0436; fax 717-299-0823; email office@lmhs.com. 

• Shalom Christian Academy (grades K-12, enrollment 400) is seek- 
ing an elementary/middle school principal. Send resume to Conrad 
Swartzentruber, 126 Social Island Road, Chambersburg, PA 17201; 717-375- 


• Eastern Mennonite University: Women's field hockey coach 

Lead NCAA Division III nationally ranked team. If interested, please send a 
; letter of application, resume and three references to William Hawk academ 
ic dean, EMU, Harrisonburg, VA 22802. AAE0E 

• Growing, urban congregation seeks full-time lead pastor to 

| begin 9-99. Portland (Ore.) Mennonite Church has about 175 active mem- 
bers and attenders. Key responsibilities include working with multiple staff, 
leadership committees, preaching, counseling and teaching. Strong 
Anabaptist focus a must. 

Send MLI form to Larry Hauder, PNW Conference Minister, 2028 N. 16th 
St., Boise, ID 83702; email questions to lhauder@compuserve.com. 

| • Eastern Mennonite University: Catalog librarian. Part-time 
January-May 1999. Classifies print and nonprint materials. ALA accredited 
[ MLS preferred. Possible full-time sabbatical replacement 1999-2000 Send 
letter of application, vita, transcripts (unofficial acceptable) and three refer- 
I ences t0 Boyd Reese, director of libraries, EMU, Harrisonburg, VA 22802; 
j email reesebt@emu.edu. Review will begin immediately. AAE0E 

• Kidron Bethel Retirement Community in North Newton, Kan., is 
seeking candidates for the executive director position. The facility campus 
includes a variety of independent living units and a 60-bed nursing center 
Seeking person with background and experience in all aspects of long-term 
care. Please send letter and resume to Search Committee, Kidron Bethel 
Retirement Services, 3001 Ivy Drive, North Newton, KS 67117. 

• Marion Mennonite Church, a growing congregation located in the 
Cumberland Valley two hours from Lancaster, Pa., and Harrisonburg, Va is 
seeking a full-time associate pastor Areas of ministry include 
youth/young adults, music/worship and cell group oversight. 

Request more information or send resume to Joyce Lehman, Marion 
Mennonite Church, 4365 Molly Pitcher Hwy., Chambersburg, PA 17201; 717- 


• Desire for God: Exploring Spiritual Direction will be held March 
12-14, 1999, at Laurelville Mennonite Church Center. The retreat is designed 

I t0 P rovide an introduction to spiritual direction for those who would like to 
understand it better, and to provide assistance with the discernment process 
i for those testing a personal call to spiritual guidance ministry Leaders- 
Marlene Kropf, Marcus Smucker, Joan Yoder Miller. Call 800-839-1021 or 
724-423-2056 for registration information. 

• Opportunities for service! Eastern Mennonite Missions has 

; opportunities for people from youth to retirees to serve overseas in min- 
1 istries that include teaching, leadership development, church planting and 
community development, for one or more years. A few of our current needs 
include leadership development among the Maasai in Kenya, and teachers 
for missionary children in Asia. 

If God is nudging you to find out more, please call Mark Emerson or 
| Ruth Durborow at 71 7-898-2251 . 

Mennonite Board of Missions seeks candidates for director of 
Mennonite Media, Harrisonburg, Va. Person needed to provide visionary 
and administrative leadership in prophetic witness to society and the church 
via public media. Qualifications include passion for media's role in God's rec- 
onciling mission to the world; understanding of Mennonite denominational 
structures; commitment to Mennonite/Anabaptist belief and practice- 
proven abilities in leadership; education in communication, marketing or 
business preferred; experience in communication management helpful- abil- 
ities in networking, collaboration and work team models needed- proven 
computer skills. 

Please contact Rachel L. Stoltzfus at 219-294-7523; email 
Rachells@MBM.org; or write to MBM, P.0. Box 370, Elkhart, IN 46515. 


• Rockhill Mennonite Community, Sellersville, Pa., a continuing care 
I retirement community affiliated with Franconia Conference, seeks a CEO 
The facility consists of 227 independent living units, 90 skilled nursing beds 
! and 36 assisted living beds. Candidates must have the equivalent of a mas- 
ter's degree and five years experience in health care administration Must be 

skilled in public relations, human resources and financial matters as well as 
| overseeing operations based on established policies, including federal, state 
and local regulations. Must have demonstrated major leadership skills by 
facilitating and leading strategic direction setting in cooperation with a 
board of directors. Must be able to articulate and demonstrate commitment 
to the philosophy, values, mission and vision of the organization. Essential 
| skills include current and future site and program development, manage- 
ment team building and supervision, and technology systems integration. A 
valid Pennsylvania nursing home administrator license is an asset. Must be a 
j member of a Mennonite church. 

Interested candidates shall submit a confidential resume by Feb. 15, 
1999, to Stan Alderfer, chair of the search committee, 144 Telford Pike 
Telford, PA 18969. 

• Goshen College, a four-year liberal arts institution, is seeking a full- 
time, tenure-track faculty member to provide visionary leadership and to 
teach courses in electronic media production, reporting, journalism 
editing, public relations, and to teach additional courses as appropriate' 
j to the department's needs and the candidate's areas of expertise. Master's 
j degree in communication, journalism or broadcasting (or closely related 
j area), and candidates with the doctorate or ABD are highly desirable 
Teaching experience required and additional experience as a professional 
I communicator preferred. 

To apply, send a letter of application, curriculum vitae and three letters 
of reference to Dr. Paul Keim, academic dean, Goshen College, 1700 S Main 
St., Goshen, IN 46526; 219-535-7503; fax 219-535-7060; email 
dean@goshen.edu. Interviews will begin after Feb. 15, 1999, and continue 
until the position is filled. Faculty responsibilities begin Aug. 15, 1999. 

Women and members of under-represented groups are encouraged to apply 
We encourage applications through the Goshen College web site at 
www.goshen.edu. Goshen College, an affirmative action employer, is com- 
mitted to Christian beliefs and values as interpreted by the Mennonite 
Church. 


• Mennonite Conference of Eastern Canada seeks applications and 
nominations for three staff positions for summer 1999. Basic qualifications: 
seminary graduate, ordained, broad church experience, familiarity with 
| rooted in Anabaptist-Mennonite faith. 

1. Minister to conference. Qualifications: demonstrated spiritual and 
team leadership; ability to assess and delegate, listen with compassion and 

I wisdom; demonstrated administrative efficiency and ability to nurture a 
vision; a sense of humor. 

Responsibilities: designated leader of the ministry team; 

| preaching/teaching in the congregations; liaison between executive board 
and congregations, executive board and staff; oversee supportive ministries 
to congregations. 

2. Minister of pastoral services. Qualifications: significant pastoral 
experience in a Mennonite setting; high level of communication and rela- 
tional skills. 

J Responsibilities: provide guidance to pastors on issues of vocational 
concern; relate to congregations on pastoral leadership issues; facilitate the 
work of the MCEC Leadership Commission. 

! 3. Minister of missions. Qualifications: significant pastoral, mission- 

related or church planting experience; positive cross-cultural experience. 

Responsibilities: serving as a resource for the commission and congre- 
gations in mission initiatives; guiding church planting and service ministries- 
promoting a vision for mission in MCEC. 

Job descriptions available from the moderator. Submit inquiries, appli- 
cations or nominations by Jan. 31, 1999, to John H. Cornies, MCEC modera- 
tor, 26 Lynden Ave., Dundas, ON L9H 4J9; 905-627-4482. 

• New Danville Mennonite School, an accredited K-8 school located 
in Lancaster, Pa„ has an opening for an administrator. Applications are 
welcomed from qualified individuals who have a commitment to Anabaptist 
values and Christian education. Contact Gary Yoder, 1028 Frances Ave 
Lancaster, PA 17601; 717-394-5239 (evening); 717-581-6100 ext ^'(day- 
time); email BY10282aol.com. 


14 


theMennonite January 5, 1999 


by Rich Preheim 
Out of Africa 

African issues highlighted the World Council 
of Churches’ (WCC) eighth assembly Dec. 3- 
14. Of course, that probably was inevitable, 
since the event was held in Harare, Zimbabwe. 

WCC delegates adopted a statement calling 
for the continent’s churches to work together 
and for WCC members elsewhere to play “what- 
ever part they can in the process of reconstruc- 
tion and reconciliation within Africa.” But 
while many assembly participants applauded 
the growth of Christianity in Africa, a theolo- 
gian from Malawi questioned its depth. “This 
might be the reason it is easily overcome by 
forces of ethnicity, patriarchy, corruption, 
hatred, political manipulation, racism, classism, 
regionalism and traditionalism,” Augustine 
Musopole told an assembly audience. 

According to WCC news releases, the 
assembly also took action to oppose continued 
violence in southern Sudan, addressed land 
rights issues, hosted a surprise visit by South 
African president Nelson Mandela and wel- 
comed she African churches into WCC member- 
ship. The organization now has 339 member 
churches, representing half a billion Christians 
around the globe. Only three Mennonite 
churches — in northern Germany, the Nether- 
lands and Congo— are WCC members. 

WCC assemblies are held every seven years. 
The Harare gathering, which celebrated WCC’s 
50th anniversary, drew more than 5,000 people. 

Going buggy in 1999 

As the new year brings closer concerns about 
the dreaded Y2K bug, InterVarsity is moving 
farther away. 

InterVarsity, an interdenominational campus 
ministry with some 30,000 members on more 
than 500 U.S. campuses, was to hold its popu- 
lar student mission convention in Urbana, 111., 
in December 1999. But possible effects of 
2000’s arrival on world computers gave Inter- 
Varsity the jitters. So the convention has been 
postponed until December 2000. 

“We felt that it would be irresponsible to 
simply gloss over potential implications of the 
Y2K issue,” convention spokesperson Melody 
Hanson tells Christian Week. 

Not that InterVarsity’s change in plans will 
matter much, believes another newspaper. 
Christian Media calls Y2K a New World Order 
“prophetic red herring, for the devastation that 
large numbers of citizenry are expecting in 
association with the digital malady will actually 
come much sooner than most expect.” 


This is from the same folks who last sum- 
mer predicted the beginning of the “biblical 
period known as the Indignation,” complete 
with the destruction of New York City and the 
death of United Nations secretary-general Kofi 
Annan, all by July 4, 1998. 

Throwing hunger for a loss 

While a new calendar year generates fear of 
the future for some, for others it generates 
anticipation of January’s post-holidays shining 
star: the Super Bowl. In conjunction with the 
professional football championship game on 
Jan. 31, organizers are planning the ninth 
annual “Souper Bowl” to benefit hungry people. 

The game plan is simple: As worshipers 
leave church on Super Bowl Sunday, they con- 
tribute money — $1 is suggested — or a can of 
food. The contributions are then distributed to 
the charity of the congregation’s choice. During 
last year’s Souper Bowl, $1.7 million was 
raised by 8,600 congregations from a variety of 
denominations in all 50 states plus Canada. 

According to “Souper Bowl” letterhead, sup- 
porters include former First Lady and Southern 
Baptist Rosalynn Carter, Atlanta Falcons foot- 
ball coach and Presbyterian Dan Reeves, for- 
mer football player and Baptist Sterling Sharpe, 
and Donella Clemens, who never played pro- 
fessional football but was the first woman to be 
moderator of the Mennonite Church. 

As hard as Chinese math 

What to make of religion in China? MCC Peace 
Office Newsletter isn’t quite sure either. It 
recently offered these diametrically opposed 
perspectives. Richard Madsen, an expert on 
Chinese religion at the University of California 
at San Diego, claims, “The situation for reli- 
gion is in many ways the best it’s been since 
1949.” But Paul Marshall of the Institute for 
Christian Studies in Toronto says: “I’ve met 
with people from 17 provinces in the last 12 
months. They said they are suffering the worst 
crackdown since the 1980s.” 

Perception is reality 

From The Wesleyan Advocate comes this 
insight on self-perceptions: Seventy-nine per- 
cent of Protestant pastors in a recent survey 
described their congregations as evangelical 
while only 20 percent of churchgoing adults 
called themselves that. Thirteen percent of 
pastors said their congregations were theologi- 
cally liberal, but 42 percent of adults said they 
personally were. 


Tidbits 

• Every year, 3,500 U.S. con- 
gregations close their 
doors for good, while 
1,200 are planted. 

— Evangelical Visitor 

• Only 5 percent to 10 per- 
cent of Christians use 
Christian bookstores. 
—Missionary Messenger 

• Soccer was introduced to 
Iran by an American 
Presbyterian missionary 
nearly a century ago. 

— Presbyterian Record 

• In most congregations, 20 
percent of the people do 
50 percent to 80 percent 
of the giving. And nearly 
half of the people give 
nothing at a\\.— Chicago 
Tribune 

• The Oberammergau Pas- 
sion play dates back at 
least 356 years. 

— Exploration 


theMennonite January 5, 1999 


15 


iitorial editorial 



***********************£^p_j^-j-_<jQ^-|-**0_Q22 

<169Q9> 34 

.400203 5 1C * 53 

LIBRARY 

ASSOC MENN BIBLICAL SEM 
3003 BENHAM AVE 
ELKHART IN 46517-1999 


The footnote for 2 Timothy 1:12b 


J. Lome Peachey 


1999 will be a difficult year. There’s enough 
leftover business from 1998 to make it so. 

Take our nation, for example. We in the 
United States are living in history-making 
days. For only the second time since this coun- 
try began has its President been impeached. In 
1868 Andrew Jackson was acquitted when the 
Senate failed to achieve a two-third’s majority 
to convict. Regardless of the outcome this time, 
the years since 1868 have given lawmakers 
plenty of time to work out all sorts of legal ma- 
neuvers. 

Legalities will also be a concern for Men- 
nonites in 1999. Although hopefully not as acri- 
monious as for the U.S. government, those 
working at integration need to find a way to 
change current legal entities of the General 
Conference Mennonite Church (GC) and Men- 
nonite Church (MC) to merge them into some- 
thing new. How that should be done could well 
add to what our review of Mennonite church 
news for 1998 in the last issue called the 
“rocky road” of integration. With the question 
of membership in the new denomination — an 
issue more and more are saying could scuttle 

What a messsage of freedom and hope for a new year. Out 
of whatever muddle or mess we might make of it, God will 
guard the gifts we have been given, bringing forth new life. 

the whole merger— the outlook for the Men- 
nonite church in a new year is cloudy at best. 

Surveying what is going on in both country 
and church, who hasn’t been tempted on occa- 
sion to walk away from it all and just concen- 
trate on one’s own personal walk with God? 

Yet even here the record is not always all that 
good. At least for me, far too often in 1998 I 
could echo these words from the apostle Paul: 
“For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I 
do not want is what I do” (Romans 7:19). And, 
like Paul, I ask: ‘Who can rescue us?” 

For me, one answer came during a recent 
Sunday morning worship service as I listened 
to my pastor preach a sermon from 2 Timothy 
1. It began familiarly enough with a reminder 
that God will ‘guard . . . what I have entrusted 
to him” (2 Timothy 1:12b). But then Conrad 


Mast called attention to something I had never 
seen before— the footnote for 2 Timothy 1:12b 
as recorded in the NRSV; it gives this alternate 
reading: God will guard “what has been en- 
trusted to me.” 

There it was— my “rescue.” I have been 
given the gift of the gospel: to preach it, to live 
it out in the best way I know how. God will 
guard this gift. I do not need to fear making 
mistakes or taking the wrong road. Rather, I 
can give being a Christian my best shot, know- 
ing God will honor what results. 

What is true for me is true for the church. 
God has given many gifts to Mennonites. Joan 
L. Hockman outlines some of these in her arti- 
cle on page 6: love, service, global awareness, 
peace and justice, community. 

During the past decade, GCs and MCs have 
decided that we can do a better job living out 
these gifts by bringing our two groups together. 
But now that the difficult work of merging is 
upon us, we sometimes wonder why. Can we 
maintain our gifts, our identities, our mission? 
Or will the difficulties of integration belie the 
words we so glibly speak about unity? 

If the footnote for 2 Timothy 1:12b is cor- 
rect (I’ve since found four other translations of 
the Bible with this same footnote while at least 
two others translate the verse this way), these 
questions are worries we can give up. God will 
guard the gifts given to us, be they making 
peace, bringing reconciliation or acting as 
agents of healing and hope for our world. God 
will make sure we don’t spoil what has been 
given us by our feeble, human attempts to be 
disciples — attempts we can be sure will fall far 
short of what they should be. 

What a message of freedom and hope as we 
go into a new year — both for individuals and 
for the church. We are free to act, to try new 
things, to experiment with what God would 
have us be. Out of whatever muddle or mess 
we might make of it, God will guard the gifts we 
have been given, bringing forth new life. 
Together we can be a light to our world— a 
world that will surely know only more confu- 
sion and anxiety in the months ahead. 

God will guard what has been given to us. 

The footnote for 2 Timothy 1:12b tells me 
so .— jlp 


16 


theMennonite January 5, 1999 






tne 

way 


6 Jesus said to make disciples 

8 $1 .2 million for Russia, Ukraine 

9 The school with no nickname 

1 6 'The whole assembly kept silence 


lers say readers say readers say 


This publication welcomes 
your letters, either about our 
content or about issues fac- 
ing the Mennonite church. 
Please keep your letters 
brief — two or three para- 
graphs — and about one 
subject only. We reserve the 
right to edit for length and 
clarity. Publication is also 
subject to space limitations. 
Send your letters to Readers 
Say, The Mennonite, P.0. Box 
347, Newton, KS 67114. 

Or you can email us at: 
theMennonite@gcmc.org. 
Please include your name 
and address. We will not 
print letters sent anony- 
mously, though we may 
withhold names at our dis- 
cretion . — Editors 


2 


The state of forgiveness 

It appears that we still don’t understand much 
about the nature of forgiveness. The last sever- 
al weeks in Washington have included events 
surrounding the impeachment process that 
dramatically illustrate this. Perhaps the most 
informative was the abrupt resignation of 
House Speaker-elect Bob Livingston. One 
must respect the honor and integrity that 
apparently lie behind his decision, but at the 
same time one must deplore the ethical confu- 
sion it demonstrates. Livingston said he would 
resign following his public acknowledgment of 
a series of extramarital affairs. This, of course, 
is similar to the background from which the 
impeachment charges against the president 
spring. 

If having an extramarital affair was truly a 
disqualification for congressional service, then 
integrity would have demanded Livingston’s 
resignation at the time it was occurring, not 
now because the public finally knows it. It 
seems to me that Christianity is concerned 
with the reality of each person’s thoughts and 
actions rather than who knows about them or 
what is being said about them. 

One hopes that the Republicans may finally 
realize that sacrificing their own leadership 
because they are demonstrably frail and sin- 
ning human beings doesn’t make sense. In a 
similar manner, it does not make sense to 
demand the president’s ouster because of his 
misguided attempts to protect himself from a 
similar assault. Qualification for public office 
does not rest on sainthood even though many 
of us might wish that it were so. Perhaps we 
all need to practice more forgiveness in order 
to recall that it is God who sits in judgment, 
not we . — Barry Hieb, Tucson, Ariz. 

The illusion of certainty 

I wonder how our personal soul searches for 
truth affect our processes of becoming an 
accepting community. Issues, such as allowing 
people with a homosexual orientation to be 
church members, become so hot because of 
what we dearly hold to be the Truth. We have 
some hints on how to be seekers of Truth: 
from stories, biblical and otherwise; through 
creative acts; our life experiences; and immers- 
ing ourselves in others’ life narratives, especial- 
ly those who have no voice, who are oppressed, 
on the outside. Then we must have the courage 
to allow ourselves to be changed by it all. 

If we have all the answers, then we essen- 
tially have no need of what our neighbor has to 

theMennonite January 12, 1999 


offer. For with certainty and answers, and the 
need to protect and control them, we miss out 
on retaining a sense of wonder. There’s no rea- 
son, then, for poetry or song or dance or paint- 
ing. Or faith. Or need for neighbors. Abundant 
life would be no more. How tragic. 

To let go of the illusion of certainty — have 
we the guts to do this? Do we want to be 
healed, take up our mats and walk (and while 
we’re at it, walk in another’s shoes for awhile)? 
Or do we prefer the familiarity of staying down 
on our mats? Perhaps there is something to be 
said for letting go our need for certainty in 
order to be healed and to be set free . — Gwen 
M. Stamm, Scottdale, Pa. 


Divorce's deep grief 

As a member of Atlanta Mennonite Fellowship 
who was present at the Southeast Conference 
meeting on Dec. 5, 1 would like to comment on 
your coverage of that event (“Southeast Con- 
ference Disciplinary Action Maintains Warm 
Relations with Congregation,” Dec. 15). The 
article fairly described the value of the process 
— one in which relationships were (perhaps 
miraculously) preserved and even strengthened. 
The facilitators did a marvelous job of assuring 
that folks on all sides felt heard and of remind- 
ing us that we were indeed on sacred ground. 

But the article failed to portray the deep 
sense of grief that accompanied the severing 
of our congregation from its conference and its 
sister congregations. Many tears were shed — 
and are still being shed — over this profound 
loss. One facilitator described the parting as a 
divorce, and that is very much how it feels to 
me to have been ripped out of my family, the 
larger Mennonite Church . — Becky Kurtz, Atlanta 

Not the last word 

In identifying psychiatrist Charles Socarides as 
defending the line against liberal views of sex- 
ual orientation (Readers Say, Dec. 15), one 
might point out that Socarides holds that same- 
sex orientation represents a profound psycho- 
pathology largely correlated with massive 
early childhood fears associated with dysfunc- 
tional parenting. Thus one must ask whether 
we really want to tag the parents of our lesbian 
and gay sisters and brothers as having been 
severely dysfunctional. In any case, I hope peo- 
ple who accept Socarides’ views are also famil- 
iar with the research of Evelyn Hooker, Judd 
Marmor, Anne Perkins, Richard Isay, Richard 
Pillard, Martin Seligman and others. By no 
means can Socarides be taken to be the last 


theMennonite 

Vol. 2, No. 2, January 12, 1999 


features 



4 Women lead the way 

The focus was commonality, mission, education and resources 

6 Jesus said to make disciples 

How one pastor overcame his resistance to evangelism 

departments 

2 Readers say 
8 News 

Winter aid • appropriate athletic identities • retiring to serve 

11 Newsbriefs 

12 For the record 
16 Editorial 

The whole assembly kept silence’ (Acts 15:12) 


Editor: J. Lome Peachey 
Associate editors 
Feature: Gordon Houser 
News: Rich Preheim 
Marketing: Marla i. Cole 
Advertising: Melanie Mueller 
Secretary: Dotty Anderson 
Design consultant: 

Judith Rempel Smucker 


Offices: 

61 6 Walnut Ave. 
Scottdale, PA 15683 
theMennonite@mph.org 

722 Main St., P.O.Box 347 
Newton, KS 671 14 
theMennonite@gcmc.org 

Phone 1-800-790-2498 


theMennonite 

Incorporating Gospel Herald (1908-1998) and TheMennonite (1885-1998) 

The Mennonite seeks to serve the U.S. context of the integrating General Conference Mennonite Church and Mennonite 
Church by helping readers glorify God, grow in faith and become agents of healing and hope in the world. TheMennonite 
(ISSN 1522-7766) is published weekly on Tuesdays — except for March 30, June 29, Aug. 3 and Nov. 30 in 1999 — by the 
GC-MC Interim Periodical Board. Periodical postage paid at Scottdale, PA 15683-1999. Canada Post international publica- 
tions mail sales agreement no. 128562, GST no. R122192453. Subscription rates: $34.95 (U.S.) per year. Group rates avail- 
able. The views expressed in this publication do not necessarily represent the official positions of The Mennonite, the Interim 
Periodical Board, the General Conference Mennonite Church or the Mennonite Church. 


Web site: http://www.mph.org/themennonite 


Postmaster: Send form 3579 to 616 Walnut Ave., Scottdale, PA 15683-1999. 


readers say 

word on the origins of human sexuality, and I 
wonder how he would explain the origin of the 
sexual orientation of his gay son, Richard. 

Contrary to the views of Socarides, in my 
judgment, biology has a powerful role in the 
development of human sexuality and sexual 
orientation. It would be a terrible state of affairs 
if our lesbian and gay sisters and brothers and 
their families continue to be destroyed by our 
lack of knowledge (Hosea 4:6). Furthermore, 
the continued stigmatization of our lesbian and 
gay sisters and brothers and their families is 
an evil which has no place in the kingdom of 
God (Galatians 3:28) . — Carl S. Keener, State 
College, Pa. 

Following directions 

When things go wrong, we make choices so 
fast we don’t stop to realize we make choices 


in direct rebellion to God-given direction. The 
Spirit of God has to work with us until it gets 
us to want to live by that God-given direction, 
“those great and precious promises: that by 
these ye might be partakers of the divine 
nature” (2 Peter 1:4). We will be freed from 
rebellious attitudes because they no longer 
have first place influencing our choices. It’s 
beyond our understanding what divine influ- 
ences will achieve when we are open to them. 
— Willard Becker, Freeman, S.D. 

Lack of youthful vigor 

As we end 1998, it seems fitting to reflect on 
the new The Mennonite. We were acquainted 
with both its predecessors and wonder why 
the current magazine seems to have lost so 
much of the vigor both its parents had. The 
new magazine lacks human interest material. 
We hope that your initial evaluations will lead 
to helpful changes. — Lome and Katherine 
Buhr, Edmonton 


Cover photo 
by Carolyn Prieb 


Correction: In the article 
"Who Are These Guys ..." 
(Dec. 29,1998, page 6), two 
errors occurred. Jim Schrag 
has three daughters, not 
two (one is a student, two 
are teachers), and George 
Stoltzfus has a daughter in 
Bangladesh and a son in 
New Mexico. We apologize 
for these errors. 


theMennonite January 12, 1999 


3 




Women lea 


by Rich Preheim m m ary Ellen Kauffman knows integra- 

ls tion. It’s about talking and praying 
lyl and being willing to give up some- 
I ■ I thing for the sake of the process. 

And Mary Ellen has given up a bit. 

She was treasurer of the Women’s Mission- 
ary and Service Commission, the women’s 
organization of the Mennonite Church (MC). 
Mary Ellen, a tax preparer and accountant in 
Exeland, Wis., enjoyed being responsible for 
WMSC’s financial books, crunching the 
group’s numbers. “That’s the type of thing I 
like to do,” she says. 

But as WMSC merged with its General Con- 
ference Mennonite Church (GC) counterpart, 
Women in Mission (WM), the bookkeeping 
and the number crunching were transferred to 
paid staff, leaving the treasurer’s position vir- 

We very much focused on the commonality we had, the 
desire to do the mission of the church, the desire to edu- 
cate WOmen, to resource women. — Elizabeth Klassen 



Mennonite 

Women 


The vine that is Christ is the 
featured element in the new 
symbol of Mennonite 
Women, designed by Judith 
Rempel Smucker of Akron, 
Pa., who also serves as 
design consultant for The 
Mennonite. 


4 


tually a figurehead, Mary Ellen felt. She ques- 
tioned her continued involvement on the board 
and considered stepping down. 

Today Mary Ellen is still treasurer, though 
of Mennonite Women, the 17-month-old inte- 
grated women’s organization. She now realizes 
her experience of loss and compromise has 
been and will be a common one as the General 
Conference Mennonite Church and Mennonite 
Church continue their merger process. “Other 
people were losing out in this situation, too, so 
that made me not feel quite so selfish,” Mary 
Ellen says. 

Elizabeth Klassen of Kitchener, Ont., knows 
integration. It’s talking and praying and work- 
ing to comprehend the positions and passions 
of others in the process. And Elizabeth has 
had to comprehend a bit. 

One of the challenges in the creation of 
Mennonite Women was the place of racial/eth- 
nic groups at the board table. WMSC, like the 
MC General Board, provided seats for repre- 
sentatives from the MC African-American, His- 
panic and Native American organizations. WM, 
like the GC General Board, did not. The latter 
was the way Klassen was used to. 

“I had to understand the whole way [racial/ 
ethnic groups] related to the MC,” says Eliza- 
beth, the last WM president. 

Today the Mennonite Women board 


theMennonite January 12, 1999 


includes seats for African-American, Hispanic 
and Native American representatives. 

Mennonite Women is the first group to 
become integrated as a result of the GC and MC 
delegates’ 1995 vote in favor of church merger. 
In fact, WMSC and WM made their decision the 
same day as their churches’ decision. At the 
Wichita, Kan., convention, after delegates had 
approved integration, a women’s integration task 
force was created the same day with almost no 
reservation expressed by WMSC and WM 
members. After all, why wait? “It seemed there 
was no good reason to put off looking at [inte- 
gration],” says Joy Hess, Goshen, Ind., the first 
president of Mennonite Women. 

Says Susan Jantzen, Newton, Kan., one of 
Mennonite Women’s two executive coordina- 
tors, “There are more important things to do 
than spend time on the business aspects of 
integration.” 

Barely two years later, in August 1997, Men- 
nonite Women was born. The keys to the 
process, says Lara Hall Blosser, Scottdale, Pa., 
the other executive coordinator, was “to dia- 
logue about it, to pray about it.” 

“Sounds simple, doesn’t it?” she says. 

Maybe. One advantage WMSC and WM 
had coming into the merger process was simi- 
lar visions for women in the church. They had 
even issued a joint Bible study for eight years. 
‘We very much focused on the commonality 
we had, the desire to do the mission of the 
church, the desire to educate women, to 
resource women,” Elizabeth says. 

But while creating an integrated women’s 
organization was certainly less complex than 
creating an entire church, it was not without 
some rough going. One of the roughest times 
came Oct. 18-19, 1996, at Markham, 111. It was 
the first joint meeting of the WMSC and WM 
boards, and it got bogged down over the issue 
of composition of the new board. WMSC had a 
12-member board, including representation 
from the racial/ethnic groups; WM had a lean- 
er structure: a four-member executive commit- 
tee plus an advisory council with representa- 
tives from every U.S. district conference and 
Canadian provincial conference. Finding a 
model acceptable to all was difficult. 

“I think we had to do a lot of listening,” Eliz- 
abeth recalls. “There were times there were a 
lot of tensions [over] what was important to 
various people. We didn’t know each other, 
and we were going into some very new territo- 
ry.” 

After struggling for awhile at Markham, a 




time-out was called. Business was set aside, 
and assumptions, concerns and hesitations 
were laid out on the table, followed by prayer. 
“There was a lot of honesty that had to be 
plunked down,” Elizabeth says. 

The discussion on board composition was 
then halted for the evening. “A lot of people 
didn’t sleep well, a lot people prayed that 
night,” Lara says. “We came back . . . and 
ended up with a board we feel good about.” 

The Mennonite Women board now has 12 
seats, including one from each of four regions 
(U.S. East, Central and West plus Canada); 
African-American, Hispanic and Native Ameri- 
can organizations; publications committee and 
officers. “It was better to go bigger and make 
sure we were being inclusive,” Elizabeth says. 

Inclusiveness, making room for diversity, was 
important to Joy. “I think Jesus was very inclu- 
sive,” she says, “and I want to make room for 
people whose opinions are different from mine.” 
Despite the difficulties, the push for merger 
continued. While some members wondered 
about how fast they were moving, Lara says there 
was recognition that “any question we had was 
not going to go away.” They might as well deal 
with the issues immediately rather than later. 

As they continued to work at the nuts and 
bolts of structure and organization, the women 
developed trust with each other, which in turn 
fueled their integration process. ‘We had come 
close enough to hear each other, to hurt each 
other and to realize that we care about each 
other,” Susan says. 

“The deep satisfaction of working together 
across all sorts of boundaries is significant and 
gets us back to the work of the church.” Above 
all, Susan says, was “a matter of spiritually 
trusting that God will lead you straight 
through the hardest conversations.” 

Says Joy, “I saw the caliber of the women 
included; I trusted their relationship to Christ; 


I felt they were working to be understood.” 

One element in the successful creation of 
Mennonite Women may be the fact that it was 
done by women. “There was a sense, not of a 
women’s agenda, but certainly the women’s 
style of doing things,” Elizabeth says. Women 
operate more on feeling, she says, “more 
expressive of their apprehensions as well as 
their joys.” They are more task oriented: “We 
want to get it done,” Mary Ellen says. And Joy 
says women are adept listeners. “In some ways 
women are not unaccustomed to this,” she 
says. ‘We’ve been doing this all our lives.” 

Now nearly a year and a half after Menno- 
nite Women’s inception, there is still much to 
do, such as developing governance structures, 
job descriptions for board members and a poli- 
cy manual. But the foundation has been laid. 
‘We are at least where I had dreamt— and 
beyond,” Lara says. 

The changes to WMSC and WM do not 
have to affect the way members in the congre- 
gations serve. But Mennonite Women organiz- 
ers are also looking at new ways to minister to 
women around the world. An International 
Women’s Fund has been created to help in 
leadership development for women around the 
world. A retreat on storytelling is being 
planned for this spring. There are hopes for 
workshops on a variety of subjects. 

‘We have found a new sisterhood, a new cir- 
cle of friends that cuts across borders, Canadi- 
an and U.S., and certain issues,” Susan says. 
“Our friendship is characterized by believing 
Christ can guide us through.” 


I think Jesus was 
very inclusive, 
and I want to 
make room for 
people whose 
opinions are 
different from 

mine . — Joy Hess 


Rich Preheim is asso- 
ciate editor for news 
for The Mennonite. 


Unlike its predecessors, Timbrel, the magazine of the integrated Mennonite Women, 
must support itself by way of subscription. And it's off to a good start. At the latest 
tally, the bimonthly publication had 8,472 subscribers, which editor Cathleen Hock- 
man-Wert calls a "respectable" number. The WMSC Voice and Window to Mission, Tim- 
brel's forerunners, were at least partially subsidized by their sponsoring organizations, 
Women's Missionary and Service Commission (Mennonite Church) and Women in Mis- 
sion (General Conference Mennonite Church). 

"It's crucial that Timbrel be self-supporting," says Cathleen. "If we can maintain the 
current subscription level through 1999, we'll have met that goal." 

She conducted a reader survey early on to help her chart TimbreTs course. "Judging 
from the 400-plus surveys returned last spring, there is widespread hunger among 
women to hear each other's stories, [to build] each other up as we continue our spiritu- 
al journeys and strive to meet the needs around us," she says. 

"Timbrel has worked out to be a good representation of who we are," says Lara Hall 
Blosser, Mennonite Women executive co-coordinator. "It reflects our diversity, and in 
its attempt to look at the roles of women it tries to respect the past, affirm the present 
and look toward the future." 

"It reflects a larger vision that Mennonite Women has to create a place where we 
can see who we are as women," adds executive co-coordinator Susan Jantzen. "We 
reflect a wide spectrum of theology and faith practice." 

Cathleen adds, "My hope is that Timbrel can serve not only those women who are 
members of congregational women's groups but also those who have not been in 
touch with Mennonite Women or its predecessors." — Melanie Zuercher of General Con- 
ference Mennonite Church News Service 


theMennonite January 12, 1999 


5 


a tM series 


Matthew 
28:18-20 
helped one 
pastor over- 
come his 
resistance to 
evangelism. 

Jesus said to mak 


by Larry Augsburger 


I found a beauti- 
ful text from the 
lips of Jesus, a 
text that more 
than any other 
in the New Tes- 
tament shows 
Jesus' expecta- 
tion for his 
church. 


■ have a confession to make. I am a pastor, 

I but for years I was uncomfortable with 

■ evangelism. I know that doesn’t sound pas- 

I toral, but like numerous others of my gen- 
eration, I spent many years incapable of distin- 
guishing between evangelism and the revival- 
ism in which it came wrapped. Myriad verses 
of “Just As I Am,” services every night for two 
weeks and guilt that wouldn’t go away, despite 
the fact that I had already made my decision 
for Christ, left me with a distaste for evange- 
lism. So it should be no surprise that the Great 
Commission was not my favorite passage of 
Scripture. 

Jesus says in Matthew 28:18-20: “All authori- 
ty in heaven and on earth has been given to 
me. Go therefore and make disciples of all 
nations, baptizing them in the name of the 
Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 
and teaching them to obey everything that I 
have commanded you.” For years I avoided 
coming to grips with this passage. It was OK 
as the foundation for a missionary mandate — 
for sending missionaries to India and Africa — 
but I resented what it had to say about my 
need to be involved in guilt-producing, two- 
week-long revival services or witnessing on 
the streets. 

When I got to seminary I never ventured 
into any of the classes on evangelism, church 
growth or church planting. It’s embarrassing 
to reflect on it now, but even though I was 
going to be a pastor, I was not going to do 
evangelism. I expected I would carefully shep- 
herd those the Lord already had in my congre- 
gation. I would welcome any who accidentally 
happened by, but I would avoid evangelism. 

For the first while I had to live with my con- 
gregations’ expectations that we would have 
semiannual or annual revival services. I found 
it hard to meet those expectations, but at least 
I went through the motions. However, badly 
slipping attendance soon doomed those 


efforts, and I was freed from the demands of 
meeting evangelistic notions. 

The church growth movement: By then some- 
thing new was stirring in me. I was discover- 
ing that the revivalism I found so difficult was 
but one expression of evangelism. I was dis- 
covering that many people out there desperate- 
ly needed the good news and that there were 
methods other than revivalism for reaching 
them. I discovered the church growth move- 
ment. 

I will be the first to acknowledge that this 
movement, like revivalism, is but one way to 
wrap evangelism, but it was a wrapper with 
which I felt more comfortable. I gained the 
highest degree of comfort in a three-day 
church leaders conference at Willow Creek 
Community Church in South Barrington, 111. 
This 20-year-old congregation, which began in 
a movie theater and now routinely hosts close 
to 16,000 people in its contemporary evange- 
listic services each weekend (it has worship 
services for its committed members on 
Wednesday and Thursday evenings), is consid- 
ered the nation’s leader in providing seeker- 
sensitive services. 

Opponents of this form of church often 
accuse its proponents of being concerned only 
with numbers, but at the conference I was 
impressed by Willow Creek’s lead pastor, Bill 
Hybels, who talked about how the congrega- 
tion didn’t set out to be big but to be faithful. 
He outlined the congregation’s program to 
move unchurched people to full Christian dis- 
cipleship, beginning with befriending them in 
their indifference or agnosticism and moving 
them through conversion to discipleship and 
full Christian maturity. 

Hearing that talk and witnessing the 
unabashed salvation and discipleship content 
of the sermons and program convinced me I 
had found a concept of evangelism with which 
I could feel comfortable. Suddenly I found 


6 


theMennonite January 12, 1999 




myself drawn to the Great Commission 
(Matthew 28:18-20). I found a beautiful text 
from the lips of Jesus, a text that more than 
any other in the New Testament shows Jesus’ 
expectation for his church. 

Three layers of meaning: I have found in this 
text three layers of meaning. The first level 
lies in putting the emphasis on the “go” and 
the “all nations.” When we put the emphasis 
here, we see the text as largely or only a mis- 
sionary passage. It’s true that going to other 
nations is a part of the meaning, but it is not all 
of it. 

The second layer of meaning — which I 
think we Mennonites were discovering in the 
’60s and 70s as we lost our insularity — lies in 
the realization that it’s not only those in the 
nations “out there” who need the good news 
but also people right around here. The “all 
nations” includes our nation, and those who 
are to “go” include us. This passage is not just 
for professional, board-supported missionaries 
but also for average Christians in North Ameri- 
ca. We can be winning our friends and neigh- 
bors to the kingdom. 

The third level of meaning is the one Bill 
Hybels led me into, that the task of evangeliza- 
tion (and the Christian nurturing of ourselves 
and our children) is not done until one has led 
the person into mature Christianity. The Great 
Commission is not about missions or evange- 
lism. It is about making disciples. Missionaries 
have always understood this disciple-making 
mandate as they have worked to lead converts 
into full maturity, but I’m not so sure that 
meaning survived the transition from mission 
into evangelism. Many churches — both in the 
past and in the present — tend to be minimalis- 
tic when it comes to training in discipleship. 

Once a person has been evangelized at a 
revival meeting or even in a newer, more seek- 
er-sensitive setting, the expectation has been 
that the person will quickly become like one of 


us pretty much on his or her own. Saving the 
soul was considered enough, and not enough 
attention was given to the “teaching them to 
obey everything I have commanded you” por- 
tion of the text. 

What are we doing to make disciples? Do 
we have any structures in place for newcomers 
to the church other than worship services and 
Sunday school classes that are often aimed far 
more at people well established in the faith? 

Do we have any disciple-making nurseries for 


Do we have any structures in place for newcomers to the 
church other than worship services and Sunday school 
classes that are often aimed far more at people well estab- 
lished in the faith? 


35-year-olds who were never in a church or 
Sunday school class before they were drawn 
into our fellowship? 

This text leads me to the inescapable con- 
clusion that today’s church has a long way to 
go to fulfill the mandate of the Great Commis- 
sion. We must begin working harder on mak- 
ing disciples. I suggest we start in our own 
churches, making a significant effort to raise 
the level of spirituality and Christian commit- 
ment of those who sit in our pews Sunday after 
Sunday, finding ways to make the Scripture 
take deeper root in the hearts of our children 
and creating disciple-making nurseries for 
those newly drawn into the fellowship. Then 
we may do a better job of “baptizing them in 
the name of the Father and of the Son and of 
the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey 
everything I have commanded you.” 

Larry Augsburger is pastor at Oak Grove Men - 
nonite Church, West Liberty, Ohio. 


)Ne'\ie asked various peo- 
ple throughout the Men- 
nonite world, What 
changes have you made in 
your life in the last two 
years because of your 
involvement with God's 
Word? Their replies will 
appear approximately 
every other week in The 
Mennonite for several 
months in this series 
called Transformations. 
— Editors 


theMennonite January 12, 1999 


7 


news news news news news news 




CPT rings out 
against violent toys 

Fifty members and supporters 
of Christian Peacemaker Teams 
rang out the violence of the 
past and rang in hopes for a 
peaceful new year in a Jan. 1 
demonstration at a Chicago 
Toys R Us store. 

Inside the store, nine 
demonstrators conducted a 
mock funeral procession 
through the aisles of action 
figures and video games to 
highlight the connection 
between violent toys and 
violent acts, such as the spate 
of school shootings across 
the United States in 1998. 
Security personnel ushered 
the group out of the store 
after about 10 minutes. 

Outside, the demonstra- 
tors rang bells, sang songs 
and held a memorial service 
for victims of child violence. 
"In each of six school shoot- 
ings that claimed the lives of 
20 people and injured many 
more, kids killed kids under 
the influence of violent 
toys," said participant Gary 
Brooks . — CPT News Service 


Mennonite Central Commit- 
tee worker Corrina Kroeker 
teaches English to aban- 
doned children who have 
found a home at the Good 
Shepherd Shelter in Makeev- 
ka, Ukraine. The shelter is 
one of the recipients of MCC 
winter assistance. 



MCC warms Russian, Ukrainian winter 


$1.2 million worth of aid bound for 'discouraged' people 


AKRON, Pa. — As poor potato and grain crops, 
harsh temperatures and falling currency add 
up to another difficult winter for people in Rus- 
sia, Mennonite Central Committee is respond- 
ing with increased relief efforts in the region. 
In the tradition of its early years, MCC over 
the next two months will send warm clothing, 
bedding, soap and food — a total of 200 metric 
tons — to Russia. 

In addition to the nine 40-foot containers 
bound for Russia, MCC will also send six ship- 
ments to the Ukraine in 1999. The total value 
of the 15 shipments is estimated at $1.2 mil- 
lion. MCC was organized in 1920 as a way for 
North American Mennonites to provide food 
for famine victims in Russia and Ukraine. 

‘This isn’t an emergency situation like Hur- 
ricane Mitch,” says Steve Hochstetler Shirk, 
who with his wife, Cheryl, directs MCC’s work 
in the former Soviet Union. “However, year 
after year, life is increasingly difficult for peo- 
ple, and many are becoming discouraged and 
depressed.” 

The Shirks in October contacted church and 
mission groups across Russia to ask if they 
anticipated needing additional material resources. 
Several of them welcomed the chance to expand 
ministry in their areas, although none saw the 
situation in the critical terms described in 
Western media reports. Some groups express- 
ly declined an offer of humanitarian assistance 
this winter, saying that the needs do not justify 
the difficulty and expense to clear humanitari- 
an shipments through customs. 


As a result of the Shirks’ survey, MCC aid 
will go to church groups of various denomina- 
tions and to locations stretching from north of 
Moscow to Siberia, where temperatures dive 
to minus 58 degrees Fahrenheit, to Vladivos- 
tok on the Pacific coast. 

‘We start with the family of faith, but we 
don’t stop there,” Shirk says. We also want 
MCC aid to help local Christians show care and 
compassion for others in their communities. 
We want the aid to be a channel for ministry.” 

Among the recipients of MCC aid will be 
poor families in Orenburg, Russia, formerly 
home to many Mennonites who have immi- 
grated to other countries, primarily Germany. 

Some of those immigrants, called Aussiedler, 
have formed the Bielefeld Mennonite Church 
in Germany, which has a mission to assist peo- 
ple in the Orenburg area. Two MCC shipments 
of warm clothing, soap and bedding will help 
the program expand to additional villages. 

Through Bielefeld mission efforts, 10 con- 
gregations have been started in the Orenburg 
area. Leaders are now working to register 
them as Mennonite churches. 

MCC will also provide canned meat to Aquila, 
another Aussiedler mission organization in 
Germany, for shipment to communities in 
southern Siberia and northern Kazakhstan. 

Other partner organizations in Russia and 
Ukraine receiving MCC assistance include 
Pentecostal churches, the Union of Evangelical 
Christian/Baptist Churches in Zaparozhye and 
a Christian university . — MCC News Service 


8 


theMennonite January 12, 1999 


MCC photo by Mark Beach 



And their nicknames shall be . . . 


Appropriate athletic identity 
can be challenge for schools 

As Iowa Mennonite School has made a name 
for itself athletically in recent years, observers 
have noticed something: IMS doesn’t have is a 
name— a nickname, to be more precise. 

The Mennonite high school near Kalona 
has never been able to decide what to call its 
athletic teams. So they don’t have a nickname. 

All the other Mennonite high schools and 
colleges do. Their athletic identities range from 
people (Western Mennonite School Pioneers) 
to animals (Freeman Academy Bobcats, Hes- 
ston Larks) to plants (Goshen College Maple 
Leafs), from the broadly religious (Eastern 
Mennonite High School Flames, Central Chris- 
tian High School Crusaders) to Mennonite 
heritage (Bethel College Threshers) . (See 
sidebar, right.) 

But in Iowa, sometimes people just refer to 
IMS as “the school without a nickname,” says 
Dwight Gingerich, coach of the school’s boys’ 
varsity basketball and girls’ varsity volleyball 
teams. The chant “I-M-S” rings out at games. 
Newspaper writers refer to the school as “Iowa 
Mennonite,” “IMS” or “maroon and white.” 
“[Not having a nickname] doesn’t seem to 
be a real problem,” says Gingerich, who was 
an IMS freshman in 1972-73, when the athletic 
program started. “It makes it a little bit difficult 
for the media since they like to use them.” 

And the media have had more occasion in 
recent years to report on IMS athletics. The 
boys’ basketball team has been in the state 
tournament five times since 1988, taking home 
the title 1992. The boys’ soccer team has been 
to the state tournament three times, winning it 
in 1997. Golf, volleyball and boys’ and girls’ 
track and cross country squads have all made 
appearances in state championship contests. 

Before the athletic successes of the past 
decade, IMS tried to pick a nickname. Options 
such as Mustangs, Pioneers and Royals were 
discussed, and votes were taken. But each time 
a name was singled out, it lost to the option of 
not having a nickname. A pastor once gave a 
talk about how a name might represent the 
school’s identity. 

Some team nicknames are obvious. The early 
pioneers pushed to Oregon, where Western is 
located. But eastern Pennsylvania isn’t known 
for pioneers’ presence. Still, teams at Christo- 
pher Dock Mennonite High School in Lansdale 
are also known as the Pioneers. The nickname 
relates to the origins of the school more than 
to a group of people, says athletic director Tim 
Ehst. “Christopher Dock himself was a pioneer 
in the whole education realm,” he says. 



An Iowa Mennonite School player slices through the opposing 
defense during a state tournament game. Unlike other schools, 
IMS uniforms are never emblazoned with the team's nick- 
name— IMS athletic teams don't have nicknames. 

At Bethany Christian School, Goshen, Ind., 
its mascot got a make-over in 1993 when it was 
changed from a Brave to a Bruin. “With 
increased sensitivity, [Braves] was a derogato- 
ry kind of word just in terms of Native Ameri- 
cans,” says William D. Hooley, who was princi- 
pal at the time. “It seemed to us not to be 
appropriate at all.” 

When Braves was chosen in the 1960s, 
when the athletic program started, it had a 
connotation of an upright, righteous person, 
says Bethany athletic director Dan Bodiker. 
But its meaning changed over the years. For a 
new name, Hooley hoped for a more spiritual 
symbol such as Flames, which is also used by 
Eastern Mennonite High School and Rockway 
Mennonite Collegiate. 

At Bethany, a commmittee was formed, 
chapels tackled the issue of a school mascot, 
and students submitted entries. “We ended up 
with Bruins,” Bodiker says. 

Back in Iowa, the processes Bethany used 
have yet to generate a mascot for IMS. But it 
could happen someday. Says Gingerich, “It 
would be interesting to see if we could ever 
nail down who we are in an athletic sense.” 

— Marshall V King 


The teams roster 

Athletic team nicknames for 
Mennonite Secondary Educa- 
tion Council members and 
General Conference Menno- 
nite Church and Mennonite 
Church colleges: 

• Belleville (Pa.) Mennonite 
School Trojans 

• Christopher Dock Menno- 
nite School Pioneers, Lans- 
dale, Pa. 

• Bethany Christian School 
Bruins, Goshen, Ind. 

• Bethel College Threshers, 
North Newton, Kan. 

• Bluffton (Ohio) College 
Beavers 

• Canadian Mennonite Bible 
College Saints, Winnipeg 

• Central Christian High 
School Crusaders, Kidron, 
Ohio 

• Eastern Mennonite High 
School Flames, Harrison- 
burg, Va. 

• Eastern Mennonite Uni- 
versity Royals, Harrison- 
burg, Va. 

• Freeman (S.D.) Academy 
Bobcats 

• Goshen (Ind.) College 
Maple Leafs 

• Hesston (Kan.) College 
Larks 

• Lancaster (Pa.) Mennonite 
School Blazers 

• Rockway Mennonite Colle- 
giate Flames, Kitchener, 
Ont. 

• Sarasota (Fla.) Christian 
High School Flames 

• United Mennonite Educa- 
tional Institute Blues, 
Leamington, Ont. 

• Western Mennonite School 
Pioneers, Salem, Ore. 


theMennonite January 12, 1999 


9 


rs news news news news news news 


When we retired, 

I often talked 
about going back. 

— Frieda Erb 


After combined 64 years in overseas work, 
ex-MBM workers spend retirement in service 


ELKHART, Ind. — Delbert and Frieda Erb may 
need some help defining the word “retired.” 
The dictionary defines the word as “with- 
drawn from business or public life.” But since 
retiring two years ago after a combined 64 years 
in service in Latin America, the Erbs, longtime 
Mennonite Board of Missions (MBM) workers 
in Argentina, have been anything but withdrawn. 

Following retirement, the Erbs decided to 
remain in Argentina, their longtime home and 
the country where many of their children and 
grandchildren live. Since retiring, they have 
been involved with a church in their town of 
Choele Choel, helped with a theological educa- 
tion program and facilitated the formation of a 
joint outreach ministry between Mennonites in 
Argentina and Illinois. Now they have gone to 
Bolivia for a two-year stint with Mennonite 
Central Committee (MCC). 

Frieda (Schellenberg) Erb spent 17 years in 
Bolivia with MCC before marrying Delbert, an 
MBM worker in Argentina, in 1982. 

“When we retired, I often talked about going 


back, says Frieda, who also served two years 
as MBM’s Latin America director. 

The Erbs on Jan. 1 began their assignment ■ 
at the MCC center in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, host- 
ing 50 MCC workers, about half from North 
America and the rest from Bolivia. The Erbs 
will also work with some of the local churches. 

In addition, Frieda will assist with health 
work on a volunteer basis, and Delbert will be 
an outside auditor for the financial office there. 
He has also reserved a quarter of his time to 
continue facilitating the Argentina-IUinois mis- 
sion partnership. 

About four years ago, the four southern 
congregations of the Argentine Mennonite 
Conference began dreaming of a mission proj- 
ect in the Patagonia region in the southern 
part of the country. Meanwhile, a group of Illi- 
nois Mennonites desired involvement with an 
outreach project. Last March, the Argentine 
and Illinois Mennonites plus MBM signed an 
agreement to collaborate on the mission work. 
—Gary Kauffman of MBM News Service 


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theMennonite January 12, 1999 


wsbriefs 


gbriefs newsbr: 


MBM grants to fund urban congregations 

ELKHART, Ind. — Mennonite Board of Mis- 
sions has awarded two $5,000 grants to sup- 
port the development of congregations in Los 
Angeles and Pittsburgh. 

One grant will benefit Los Angeles Faith 
Chapel, a fast-growing, multicultural congre- 
gation in southern Los Angeles. Sunday atten- 
dance averages 90 to 100 people, including 
expatriate West Africans, middle-class African- 
Americans and a variety of homeless people. 
Los Angeles Faith Chapel has given birth to a 
second congregation. Calvary Life Assembly, 
and is spearheading a mission effort to Nigeria. 

Another $5,000 grant will help Allegheny 
Conference plant two congregations in Pitts- 
burgh, one among among Hispanics and anoth- 
er among a population with roots in India. 

— MBM News Service 

Seminary to add development office 

HARRISONBURG, Va. — Eastern Mennonite 
Seminary, Harrisonburg, will get a develop- 
ment office, thanks to a $1.3 million grant from 
Lilly Endowment Inc. The funds will provide 
for the creation of two full-time development 
positions, an administrative support position 
and a part-time communication position. 



EMM photo by Dale D. Gehman 


Raising and lifting 

Participants worship God during an Eastern Mennonite 
Missions-sponsored gathering held in November at 
Landisville (Pa.) Mennonite Church. The event, which 
drew more than 175 people, was billed as "no agenda 
beyond worshiping God." 


The grant will also support merit-based and 
need-based scholarships and programs and 
provide funding so pastors new to Mennonite 
ministry can participate free in the semi- 
nary’s annual School for Leadership Training. 

Food is basic human right, MCC Canada says 

WINNIPEG— Declaring that access to ade- 
quate food is a basic human right, Mennonite 
Central Committee (MCC) Canada has urged 
the United Nations to provide leadership in 
ensuring that right for everyone. 

“Food is a gift of God to be shared. Action 
that seeks to make an adequate diet available 
to all people is a witness to God’s love and 
grace,” states a letter approved at MCC Cana- 
da’s annual meeting in November. The letter 
was sent to Mary Robinson, U.N. High Com- 
missioner for Human Rights . — MCC Canada 
News Service 

Bluffton peer education program honored 

BLUFFTON, Ohio — Bluffton College’s efforts 
to prevent alcohol abuse and other health and 
safety issues has generated national recogni- 
tion. The school’s Peer Awareness Leaders 
(PALS) chapter was one of 12 to be honored 
as a 1998 Outstanding Network Affiliate by 
i the BACCHUS and GAMMA Peer Education 
Network. 

The network is an international association 
of college- and university-based peer educa- 
tion programs. While the issue of alcohol con- 
sumption is the organization’s primary focus, 
chapters can develop other programs of con- 
cern and interest. 


by the 
way ... 

A survey of Old Order Men- 
nonitesin New York found 
them to not have high levels 
of cholesterol and not be 
prone to being overweight 
even though they ate a diet 
as high in fats and choles- 
terol as the rest ofthell.S. 
population . — Reuters 


ALASKA 

August 4-16, 1999 

Leaders - Mary & Hubert 

Schwartzentruber 

Enjoy majestic beauty, shimmering 
glaciers, deep fjords, soaring eagles, 
i ,ooo-mile cruise and the fellowship 
of Mennonite friends from all over 
North America. 

Call 1-800-565-0451 
for a brochure. 

Tour M agination 

1011 Cathill Road 22 Kin 9 st - s - Sui,e 401 

Sellersville, PA 18960 Waterloo, ON N2J 1N8 



Ask about our Oberammergau tours. 


theMennonite January 12, 1999 


11 




r the record for the record for the record 


Events 

"Refreshing the Winds: A 
Conference on Worship," 

Jan. 14-17, Winnipeg. Sponsor: 
Canadian Mennonite Bible Col- 
lege and Concord College. Con- 
tact: Rudy Schellenberg, 204- 
888-6781, or Bill Baerg, 204- 
669-6583. 

"Hospitality and the Vital 
Church" workshop, Jan. 16, 
Goshen, Ind. Sponsor: New Life 
Ministries. Contact: Ed Bontrager, 
757-595-6889, or Marilyn Miller, 
303-499-1565. 

Pacific Southwest Confer- 
ence midyear assembly, Feb. 
5-6, Mennonite Community 
Church, Fresno, Calif. Theme: 

"One Body Through the Cross." 
Mennonite Disaster Service 
all-unit meeting, Feb. 12-13, 
Harrisonburg (Va.) Mennonite 
Church. Contact: Richard Good, 
540-434-4086. 

Mennonite Central Commit- 
tee U.S. annual meeting, 
Feb. 18, Abbotsford, B.C. 
Mennonite Central Commit- 
tee annual meeting, Feb. 19- 
20, Abbotsford, B.C. 

Northwest Conference 
annual meeting, Feb. 26-28, 
Tofield, Alta. 

Workers 

Freed, John, concluded a pas- 
torate at First Mennonite Church, 
Berne, Ind., on Dec. 31. 

Greene, William, was ordained 
Nov. 15, 1998, as pastor of Cross- 
roads Mennonite Church, Tim- 
berville, Va. 

Grusy, Katherine, Goshen, 
Ind., has been named to the 
Bluffton (Ohio) College board of 
trustees. 

King, Douglas, was licensed 
Nov. 8, as youth and young adult 
pastor at Weavers Mennonite 
Church, Harrisonburg, Va. 

Mohr, Roberta, Wadsworth, 
Ohio, has been named to the 
Bluffton College board of 
trustees. 

Births 

Fellers, Abigail Dawn, Dec. 

11, to Adam and Cathy (Oswald) 
Fellers, Centreville, Mich. 


12 


Fox, Sarah Rose, Dec. 15, to 
Michael and Pam (Martin) Fox, 
Ephrata, Pa. 

Gehman, Bryce Edward, Dec. 
1, to Billy and Robin (Keplinger) 
Gehman, Bergton, Va. 
Hershberger, Christopher 
JohnPaul, Nov. 1 1, to Steven 
and Susan (King) Hershberger, 
Indianapolis. 

Leichty, Hunter Matthew, 

Dec. 13, to Karma (Roth) and 
Mat Leichty, Mount Pleasant, 
Iowa. 

Martin, Jessica Rose, Dec. 12, 
to David and Karen (Ropp) Mar- 
tin, Drayton, Ont. 

Richardson, Josiah Paul, 

Nov. 24, to Cyndi (Friesen) and 
Paul Richardson, South San 
Gabriel, Calif. 

Schmidt, Logan Ryan, Dec. 

1 7, to Ryan and Tisha Schmidt, 
Topeka, Kan. 

Shertzer, Todd Dylan, Dec. 

18, to Todd and Twila (Fisher) 
Shertzer, Lancaster, Pa. 

Tyson, Stephen Irvin, Nov. 

28, to Magan Tyson, Zionsville, 
Pa. 

Unternahrer,Jaren Ralph, 

Dec. 12, to Desirae (Robertson) 
and Jason Unternahrer, Wayland, 
Iowa. 

Marriages 

Dengler/Gillespie: Jessica 
Dengler, Souderton, Pa„ and 
Stephen Gillespie, Kennett 
Square, Pa., Dec. 19. 
Eberly/Lehman: Peter Eberly, 
Kalona, Iowa, and Natalie 
Lehman, Hollsopple, Pa., Dec. 19 
at Stahl Mennonite Church, 
Johnstown, Pa. 

Grubbs/Unruh: Anna Grubbs, 
Lawrence, Kan., and Austin 
Unruh, Greensburg, Kan., Dec. 19 
at Grace Evangelical Presbyterian 
Church, Lawrence. 
Ramer/Short: Chad Ramer, 
Goshen, Ind., and Christine 
Short, Archbold, Ohio, Dec 19 at 
Zion Mennonite Church, Arch- 
bold, Ohio. 


Deaths 

Alderfer, Edith, 97, Souder- 
ton, Pa., died Dec 20. Spouse: 
Alvin Alderfer (deceased). Par- 
ents: Abraham and Ella Hackman 
Landis (deceased). Funeral: Dec. 
23 at Souderton. 

Crutchfield, Jane, 83, New- 
port News, Va., died Nov. 28. Sur- 
vivors: daughter Jane Trotta; 
three grandchildren; seven 
great-grandchildren. Memorial 
service: Dec. 2 at Newport News. 
Handwork, Charles, 74, 
Youngstown, Ohio, died Dec. 8 of 
heart failure. Spouse: (1st) 
Eleanor Mack Handwork 
(deceased); (2nd) Pauline Mad- 
den Handwork (deceased). Par- 
ents: Charles and Nellie Russell 
Handwork (deceased). Survivors: 
children Joan Stanley, Patricia 
Carach, Mary Broadbent, Carol, 
James; 11 grandchildren. Funer- 
al: Dec. 1 1 at Midway Mennonite 
Church, Columbiana, Ohio. 
Hughes, Harold, 86, Parkes- 
burg, Pa., died Nov. 2. Spouse: 
Bertha Lochner Hughes. Other 
survivors: daughter Grace 
Salamh; six grandchildren; 13 
great-grandchildren. Funeral: 
Nov. 5 at Parkesburg Mennonite 
Church. 

Minks, Lena Pauline, 73, 

Houston, died of complications 
from surgery and diabetes. 
Spouse: Hilbert Minks. Parents: 
Robert Phy and Viola Sylvia Har- 
ris Allison Lander (deceased). 
Survivors: children Sharon Kent, 
Ronald, David; four grandchil- 
dren; two great-grandchildren. 
Funeral: Nov. 13 at Greensburg 
(Kan.) Mennonite Church. 
Neuhauser, Tillman, 93, 
Eureka, III., died Dec. 23. Spouse: 
Ethel Mae Holaway Neuhauser. 
Parents: Amos and Katherine 
Neuhauser (deceased). Other 
survivors: Darrel, David, Norma 
Gresham, Darlene Mellinger; 10 
grandchildren; 17 great-grand- 
children. Funeral: Dec. 28 at 
Roanoke Mennonite Church, 
Eureka, III. 


Nofziger, Bessie Frey, 95, 

Archbold, Ohio, died Nov. 9. 
Spouse: (1st) Edgar Frey 
(deceased); (2nd) Lester Nofziger 
(deceased). Parents: Nicholas 
and Mary Wyse (deceased). Sur- 
vivors: children Robert Frey, 
Frederick Nofziger; five grand- 
children. Funeral: Nov. 13 at Zion 
Mennonite Church, Archbold. 
Reeser, Lorene Staley, 90, 
Normal, III., died Dec. 4 of heart 
failure. Spouse: Jake Reeser 
(deceased). Parents: Ali and Eva 
Staley (deceased). Survivors: 
children Kenneth, Donald, 

Robert, Larry, Patty Burns; 14 
grandchildren; eight great- 
grandchildren. Funeral: Dec. 7. 
Shirk, Orville, 75, Three Rivers, 
Mich., died Dec. 15. Survivors: 
children Bert, Bruce, Orville Jr., 
Emily Gosnell, Marjorie Brown, 
Deborah Jones; 25 grandchil- 
dren; 30 great-grandchildren. 
Funeral: Dec. 17. 


Underwood, Timothy 
Austin, 21, Goshen, Ind., died 
Dec. 13. Parents: Larry and Crys- 
tal Underwood. Grandparents: 
Palmer and Marge Schrag. Other 
survivors: son Austin; sisters 
Teresa Miller, Christina; brother 
Mark. Funeral: Dec. 18 at Hively 
Avenue Mennonite Church, 
Elkhart, Ind. 

Vogel, Florence Preheim 
Stucky, 74, Reedley, Calif., died 
Dec. 12 in an automobile acci- 
dent. Survivors: children Doug 
Stucky, Terry Vogel, Mike Vogel; 
15 grandchildren; four great- 
grandchildren. Funeral: Dec. 17 
at First Mennonite Church, Reed- 
ley. 


♦ Travel with a Purpose * 


Aiennonite 



Birds SC Farms of S. Ont. May 18-22 

See migrating birds at Pt. Pelee; tomatoes and roses in 
greenhouses. Hear the Russian Mennonite story. 

Canadian Rockies June 19 -July 15 

Banff, Columbia Icefields, Butchart Gardens are beautiful. 
Enjoy the farms of BC, Mennonite and Hutterite people. 

Alaska Tour/Cruise July 19 -31 

The 49th state by air, rail, bus and cruise ship. View 
glaciers, oil pipeline; enjoy salmon bake and Inside Passage. 

Maritime Provinces August 10 -20 

Cruise the Bay of Fundy, encircle the Cabot Trail; Anne of 
Green Gables drama and farm tour in New Brunswick. 

Northeast US Sept. 27 - Oct. 9 

Enjoy history and color of Philadelphia, NYC and New 
England. Lancaster's PA Dutch and the nation's capitol. 

Churchill Polar Bears Oct. 9 -16 

Tundra Buggy ride to view migrating polar bears. 


MYW Tours • Box 1525 
• Salunga, PA 17538 
717/653-9288 • 800/296-1991 


theMennonite January 12, 1999 



classifieds 


• Landis Homes is seeking an adult day services manager for 

dementia care. A full-time position for a new facility serving people with 
dementia. Desire LPN or BSW with two years of experience with older adults 
In a supervisory capacity and experience or interest in people with memory 
impairment. 

Contact Human Resources, Landis Homes, 1001 E. Oregon Rd„ Lititz, PA 
17543; 717-581-3936. 

• Pluralism and Community: Conversations on the Calling and 
Character ofAnabaptist-Mennonites for Beginning the 21st Centu- 
ry will be held March 24-26, 1999, at Laurelville Mennonite Church Center. 
The purpose is to reflect on a vision for the identity, calling and role of the 
Mennonite Church in our changing world at the doorstep of the 21 st century. 
Presenters: John Lapp, Rodney Clapp, Lydia Neufeld Harder, Bedru Hussein, 
Gayle Gerber Koontz and others. Call 800-839-1021 or 724-423-2056 for 
registration information. 

• Mennonite Central Committee is recruiting a Ten Thousand Vil- 
lages regional sales manager located in the southwestern U.S. Qualifica- 
tions include a degree in business/marketing (preferred); experience in retail 
management; knowledge of Ten Thousand Villages products; good personal, 
administrative and communication skills; and flexibility in traveling through- 
out the region. This is a full-time, two-year salaried position. 

For more information or to receive a copy of the job description, please 
contact Prem Dick or Goldie Kuhns at 717-859-1151; Mennonite Central 
Committee human resources department, or email them at psd@mcc.org or 
gpk@mcc.org. 

• Hope Mennonite Church, Wichita, Kan., seeks a half-time director 
of ministry development to expand its lay ministries by helping the con- 
gregation identify where their gifts and their desires for ministries might 
match; by forming ministry teams around those ideas; and by training and 
supporting individuals or teams in current and new ministries, with a partic- 
ular focus on youth-related ministry development. The director is expected 
to be involved in the congregation, and needs a high energy, self-directed, 
people-focused, flexible work outlook. The position requires creativity, orga- 
nization, the ability to work in a team, and a strong commitment to Chris- 
tian beliefs. 

Please contact Search Committee, Hope Mennonite Church, 868 N. 

Maize Road, Wichita, KS 67212; 316-722-0903; fax 316-722-5173. 

• Mennonite Association of Retired Persons seeks an executive 
director who is committed to helping older people live full, rich lives. The 
successful candidate must have the skills to manage a membership of 3,600, 
conduct seminars and workshops on issues concerning aging, publish a 
quarterly newsletter, work with a board of directors, and direct a distinctive 
and highly successful program of Service Opportunities for Older Persons 
(S00P) in cooperation with Mennonite Board of Missions and MCC Canada. 
Social Security income may be important for the successful candidate for this 
four-fifths time position. 

Send your resume and inquiries to MARP search committee, Mennonite 
Association of Retired Persons, P.0. Box 1245, Elkhart, IN 46515. 

• Rockhill Mennonite Community, Sellersville, Pa., a continuing care 
retirement community affiliated with Franconia Conference, seeks a CEO 
The facility consists of 227 independent living units, 90 skilled nursing beds 
and 36 assisted living beds. Candidates must have the equivalent of a mas- 
ter's degree and five years experience in health care administration. Must be 
skilled in public relations, human resources and financial matters as well as 
overseeing operations based on established policies, including federal, state 
and local regulations. Must have demonstrated major leadership skills by 
facilitating and leading strategic direction setting in cooperation with a 
board of directors. Must be able to articulate and demonstrate commitment 
to the philosophy, values, mission and vision of the organization. Essential 
skills include current and future site and program development, manage- 
ment team building and supervision, and technology systems integration. A 
valid Pennsylvania nursing home administrator license is an asset. Must be a 
member of a Mennonite church. 

Interested candidates shall submit a confidential resume by Feb. 15, 
1999, to Stan Alderfer, chair of the search committee, 144 Telford Pike, 
Telford, PA 18969. 


Summer School 

May 24 - June 11 

Foundations of New Testament Exposition: 

Synoptic Gospels 

Mary H. Schertz, Ph.D., AMBS 

June 1-11 

Celebrating the Christian Year 

Marlene Kropf, D.Min., and June Alliman Yoder, D.Min., 
AMBS 

International Politics: Christian Perspectives 
John A. Lapp, Ph.D., guest instructor 
Spirituality, Pastoral Care and Healing 

Marcus G. Smucker, Ph.D., 

Adjunct faculty, AMBS 


June 11-18 

Church Administration and Leadership 

Del Glick, D.Min., guest instructor 
Includes weekend Continuing Education 
event, July 11-12 

Pastoral Care for People with Addictions 

Brice Balmer, D.Min., guest instructor 
Includes weekend Continuing Education 
event, July 11-12 

June 14-25 

Apocalyptic and the New Millenium 

Walter Klaassen, Ph.D., guest instructor 
Liberation and Contextual Theologies 
Daniel Schipani, Dr.Psy., Ph.D., AMBS 

June 18 - July 5 

Spiritual Pilgrimage with Celtic Christians 

Marlene Kropf, D.Min., AMBS 

Study tour to Ireland, Scotland and England 

August 11-18 

Creation and Spiritual Renewal 

Perry Yoder, Ph.D., AMBS 
Includes canoe trip in boundary waters. 


Summer 




Associated 

Mennonite 

Biblical 

Seminary 


3003 Benham Avenue 
Elkhart, IN 46517 
219 295-3726 
1 + 800 964-AMBS 
registrar@ambs.edu 


• New Danville Mennonite School, an accredited K-8 school located 
in Lancaster, Pa., has an opening for an administrator Applications are 
welcomed from qualified individuals who have a commitment to Anabaptist 
values and Christian education. Contact Gary Yoder, 1028 Frances Ave., Lan- 
caster, PA 17601; 717-394-5239 (evening); 717-581-6100 ext.128 (daytime); 
email BY10282aol.com. 

• Growing, urban congregation seeks full-time lead pastor to 

begin 9-99. Portland (Ore.) Mennonite Church has about 175 active mem- 
bers and attenders. Key responsibilities include working with multiple staff, 
leadership committees, preaching, counseling and teaching. Strong Anabap- 
tist focus a must. 

Send MLI form to Larry Hauder, PNW Conference Minister, 2028 N. 16th 
St., Boise, ID 83702; email questions to lhauder@compuserve.com. 


theMennonite January 12, 1999 


13 



classifieds 


• Mennonite Central Committee is actively recruiting two Ten 
Thousand Villages company store managers in Princeton, N.J., and 
Northampton, Mass. Qualifications include a degree in business administra- 
tion, marketing and/or experience and training in retail sales; managerial 
experience and ability; ability to attractively display merchandise and 
arrange store layout; enjoy meeting the public and dealing with customers; 
ability to train, schedule and supervise sales clerks; experience in ordering, 
bookkeeping and inventory maintenance; interest and/or experience in 
advertising and promotion. These are full-time, two-year salaried positions. 

For more information or to receive a copy of the job description, please 


Concord College 
Menno Simons College & 
Canadian Mennonite Bible College 

have developed Mennonite College Federation, a cooperative association of 
colleges committed to the Biblical faith, and rooted in the Anabaptist/Mennonite 
tradition. This partnership will lead to the significant expansion of academic 
programming. Over a period of several years the three colleges expect to hire a 
number of faculty in a variety of the social sciences, humanities and other areas. 


The three colleges invite applications for the following 

faculty positions 

scheduled to be filled for September, 1999: 

Menno Simons College (MSC): 
three positions in Conflict Resolution Studies (CRS) 
Canadian Mennonite Bible College (CMBC) : 
one position in humanities or social sciences, 
one position in Anabaptist studies/Church History, and 
one position in organizational leadership and management 
Concord College (CC): 
one position in humanities or social sciences 

Qualifications 

• Ph.D. , completed or nearly complete 
(candidates for the CRS positions will be 
expected to have done graduate work in that discipline) 

• commitment to the Christian faith and mission of the college 


Please direct applications or inquiries regarding these positions, or similar 
positions which will open up in the coming years to the following: 
MSC: President; Menno Simons College; 380 Spence St.; 

Winnipeg, MB R3B 2E9 (204) 786-9895; fax: (204) 783-3699; 
e-mail: george.richert@uwinnipeg.ca 
CMBC: Dean; CMBC; 600 Shaftesbury Blvd; Winnipeg, MB 
R3P 0M4 (204) 888-6781; fax: (204) 831-5675; 
e-mail: dean@confmenno.ca 

CC: Dean, Concord College; 169 Riverton Ave.; Winnipeg, MB 
R2L2E5 (204) 669-6583; fax: (204)663-2468; 
e-mail:drdyck@concordcollege.mb.ca 


contact Prem Dick or Goldie Kuhns at 717-859-1151; Mennonite Central 
Committee human resources department, or email them at psd@mcc.org or 
gpk@mcc.org. 

• Mennonite Central Committee is actively recruiting for five Ten 
Thousand Villages company store assistant managers in Bryn Mawr, 
Pa. (32 hrs/wk), Princeton, NJ. (32 hrs/wk), New Haven, Conn. (32 hrs/wk), 
New Haven, Conn. (20 hrs/wk) and Northampton, Mass. (32 hrs/wk). Qualifi- 
cations include experience and/or training in retail sales; managerial experi- 
ence and ability coupled with good organizational skills; willing and able to 
learn a variety of tasks under the direction of the manager; enjoy interacting 
with a wide variety of people and an appreciation for customer service; abili- 
ty to cover the responsibilities of the manager in his or her absence; support 
of and commitment to the mission of Ten Thousand Villages. These are two- 
year salaried positions. 

For more information or to receive a copy of the job description, please 
contact Prem Dick or Goldie Kuhns at 717-859-1 151; Mennonite Central 
Committee human resources department, or email them at psd@mcc.org or 
gpk@mcc.org. 

• Mennonite Central Committee is actively recruiting for the staff 
associate for urban peacemaking — Mennonite Conciliation Services 
position at MCC U.S., Akron, Pa. Qualifications include a commitment to 
Christ and his way of peace; training or experience in peace and justice con- 
cerns, especially conciliation, organizing, criminal justice, peace education, 
racism, gender issues; openness to advanced training in these areas; bache- 
lor's degree in related field preferred; strong urban experience; especially 
with racially and ethnically diverse communities; strong interpersonal skills 
and ability to relate to a broad spectrum of constituency groups; well-devel- 
oped writing, public speaking and teaching skills for adult and youth audi- 
ences; ability to work independently as well as part of a staff team. This is a 
full-time, two-year salaried position. 

For more information or to receive a copy of the job description, please 
contact Prem Dick or Goldie Kuhns at 717-859-1151; Mennonite Central 
Committee human resources department, or email them at psd@mcc.org 
or gpk@mcc.org. 

• Mennonite Conference of Eastern Canada seeks applications and 
nominations for three staff positions for summer 1999. Basic qualifications: 
seminary graduate, ordained, broad church experience, familiarity with 
MCEC, rooted in Anabaptist-Mennonite faith. 

1. Minister to conference. Qualifications: demonstrated spiritual and 
team leadership; ability to assess and delegate, listen with compassion and 
wisdom; demonstrated administrative efficiency and ability to nurture a 
vision; a sense of humor. 

Responsibilities: designated leader of the ministry team; 
preaching/teaching in the congregations; liaison between executive board 
and congregations, executive board and staff; oversee supportive ministries 
to congregations. 

2. Minister of pastoral services. Qualifications: significant pastoral 
experience in a Mennonite setting; high level of communication and rela- 
tional skills. 

Responsibilities: provide guidance to pastors on issues of vocational 
concern; relate to congregations on pastoral leadership issues; facilitate the 
work of the MCEC Leadership Commission. 

3. Minister of missions. Qualifications: significant pastoral, mission- 
related or church planting experience; positive cross-cultural experience. 

Responsibilities: serving as a resource for the commission and congre- 
gations in mission initiatives; guiding church planting and service ministries; 
promoting a vision for mission in MCEC. 

Job descriptions available from the moderator. Submit inquiries, appli- 
cations or nominations by Jan. 31, 1999, to John H. Cornies, MCEC modera- 
tor, 26 Lynden Ave., Dundas, ON L9H 4J9; 905-627-4482. 


Classified advertising space in The Mennonite is avail- 
able to congregations, conferences, businesses, and 
churchwide boards and agencies. Cost for one-time 
placement is $1 .10 per word, minimum of $30. To 
place a classified ad in The Mennonite, call 800-790- 
2498 and ask for Melanie Mueller. 


14 


theMennonite January 12, 1999 








Experiencing God’s abundance, and giving back in celebration, is part of the 
journey toward better stewardship — one you’ll enjoy your entire life. Its joys 
and opportunities can be found in the choices you make every day. 

MMA knows you have many stewardship choices — and understands that 
the priorities you establish make your journey different from anyone else’s. 

That’s why the stewardship solutions we help you find are 
designed just for you. We’ll help you live out your faith as you seek to 

• Plan for the future and protect your family 

• Make sound financial decisions 

• Pursue stewardship investing and charitable giving 

• Practice healthy living and 

• Extend compassionate assistance to other church members 

Find out how MMA can walk with you toward better stewardship. Request 
OUT free guide, “Stewardship needs along your journey” by calling your 
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umrw.mrm-online.org for information about MMA’s services. 


Stewardship 

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An MMA commitment to helping 
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theMennonite January 12, 1999 


15 


orial editorial editorial editorial 


r-kkk-k-kk-kk-K: 



< 1 6 9 2 8 > 

.400203 51C * 

LIBRARY 

ASSOC MENN BIBLICAL SEM 
3003 BEN.HAM AYE 
ELKHART IN 46517-1999 


*CAR-RT-S0RT**C-023 

34 


53 


'The whole assembly kept silence' (Acts 15:12) 


Gordon Houser 


For everything there is a season, . . . 
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak. 

— Ecclesiastes 3:1,7b 

Many of us thought we had come to a prayer 
meeting, but soon we were all talking. Then a 
woman said, “Can we pray?” Wise words. 

Our congregation was meeting because we 
faced a decision about whether or not to buy 
some land around the church’s meetinghouse. 
A deadline approached. In several weeks the 
organization that owned the land would with- 
draw their offer and turn the matter over to a 
real estate agency. 

We were not unified. We took time to pray, 
to listen for what we sensed the Holy Spirit 
saying to us. We then gave opportunity for 
each person to say what they thought or felt 
about the issue. A variety of views came forth. 

We use a form of consensus in our congre- 
gation’s decision making. When everyone had 
responded, one person was opposed to buying 
the land, and several consented to the decision 
without affirming it. 

We met two weeks later. During that time 
our church council encouraged everyone to 


While the rest of the church largely has been stuck in the 
pursuit of integration, with many words spoken and writ- 
ten, the two women's organizations have integrated. 

pray. At the next meeting a curious thing hap- 
pened. While many of us felt the amount being 
asked for the land was too high, someone 
sensed the Spirit saying that we should offer 
more than was being asked. The Christian 
organization selling the land was having some 
financial problems, so why not support them 
rather than try to get a good deal from them. 

That’s what we did. Without that one person 
hearing a different message, it would not have 
happened, and we would not have taken anoth- 
er opportunity to pray about it. 

The General Conference Mennonite 
Church, Mennonite Church and Conference of 
Mennonites in Canada, seeking to integrate in 
some form, face a consultation March 11-14 


that some compare to the Jerusalem Council 
in Acts 15. 

When I heard this news, I immediately felt a 
strong urge to be in prayer about it, and I 
know many others are in prayer. Our magazine 
is also receiving many ideas about how to 
solve the impasse the church feels about the 
question of membership and homosexuality. 
Curiously, each of these articles on how to 
solve this problem has come from a man. 

In our Sept. 8, 1998, issue, Cathleen Hock- 
man- Wert offered this advice: “I’m not always 
convinced that the church needs more women 
to speak up. I tend to think instead that more 
men should hush up and let us all quietly seek 
the Spirit’s guidance.” 

Now read the article on page 4 about Men- 
nonite Women. While the rest of the church 
largely has been stuck in the pursuit of inte- 
gration, with many words spoken and written, 
the two women’s organizations have integrat- 
ed. They haven’t ignored words, which are 
necessary, but they have employed much 
prayer and listening. Can we learn from them? 

The Jerusalem Council spent considerable 
time listening and praying. While our discus- 
sions often divide between those who empha- 
size what Scripture says and those who 
emphasize people’s experience of God working 
among them, this council paid attention to 
both. The decision they came to was radical, 
far-reaching and difficult. The understatement 
of Acts 15 occurs in verse 2, where Paul and 
Barnabas “had no small dissention and 
debate” with individuals from Judea. 

This council came to a decision that was a 
kind of compromise, different, I imagine, from 
what each side hoped. Nevertheless, the 
church members in Antioch rejoiced, and 
“Paul and Barnabas . . . with many others, . . . 
taught and proclaimed the word of the Lord” 
(Acts 15:35). 

We face a similar challenge. It’s important 
to talk, and I expect ideas will keep coming. 

But perhaps it’s more important that we take 
some extra time for being quiet and sitting 
before the Lord in prayer. Let’s imitate the 
believers at the Jerusalem Council by keeping 
silence and listening to one another and to the 
voice of God’s Spirit . — gh 


16 


theMennonite January 12, 1999 



8 50 truckloads of grain for North Korea 

9 CPT between demonstrators and soldiers 
16 Working out our salvation 


lers say readers say readers say 


This publication welcomes 
your letters, either about our 
content or about issues fac- 
ing the Mennonite church. 
Please keep your letters 
brief — two or three para- 
graphs — and about one 
subject only. We reserve the 
right to edit for length and 
clarity. Publication is also 
subject to space limitations. 
Send your letters to Readers 
Say, The Mennonite, P.0. Box 
347, Newton, KS 67114. 

Or you can email us at: 
theMennonite@gcmc.org. 
Please include your name 
and address. We will not 
print letters sent anony- 
mously, though we may 
withhold names at our dis- 
cretion . — Editors 


2 


Beyond Beloved' 

Although I reread Tobin Miller Shearer’s arti- 
cle “Pearls, Swine and ‘Beloved’ ” (Dec. 29) 
several times, nowhere did I find any evidence 
of the fact that the ‘middle-class white folks’ 
Shearer refers to disliked the movie because 
they were racist. He seems to make this 
assumption on the fact that the movie’s plot 
involved primarily African-Americans and that 
these moviegoers were white. 

This is, at best, short-sighted and, at worst, 
judgmental. Does it then follow that these peo- 
ple are prejudiced against Italian-Americans if 
they did not enjoy The Godfather ? Or that they 
were all misogynists if they did not appreciate 
Thelma and Louise? Shearer should give these 
people the benefit of the doubt if for no other 
reason than that they were open-minded 
enough to see the movie to begin with. 

It is sadly ironic that Shearer’s rush to draw 
conclusions about a particular group of people 
is what lies at the heart of the racism he sought 
to speak against. — Peter Lamberts, Audubon, Pa. 

While I affirm the gist of Tobin Miller Shearer’s 
reminders about a “God of possibility,” I take 
issue with his rather reductive politicization of 
the cinema. That white folks in Wichita, Kan., 
failed to enjoy Beloved (the plot of which might 
confuse people who have not read Toni Morri- 
son’s powerful novel) may not necessarily sig- 
nify racist sentiments on their parts. 

Films are more than expressions of narrative 
and theme; they also operate in the less-smooth 
political realms of aesthetics, technical delivery 
and theatrical performance. Opinions about a 
film can respond to these latter areas in addi- 
tion to, or even rather than, any apparent nar- 
rative messages. — Steven P. Miller, Goshen, Ind. 

Surrendering anxiety 

Reflections on the March consultation on 
membership: The issue is and will remain divi- 
sive if it is felt at the emotional level to be an 
issue of right or wrong, a matter of correct bib- 
lical interpretation. This precipitates anxiety 
within us as individuals or a group that some- 
body must be wrong, and what if it were us? 
One way to deal with that anxiety is to project 
it on to someone else: “Oh, good, I found the 
problem, and it’s not me.” Each person then is 
even more defensive to avoid re-experiencing 
the original anxiety — the fear that I might be 
wrong — so I become more dogmatically right. 

What if each of us were able to surrender 
ourself and the other to God and let each be 

theMennonite January 19, 1999 


responsible to God? Then we are free from the 
anxiety that we need to think the same way to 
be one body. We only need to take responsibili- 
ty for whether we are willing to allow God to 
point out our error. That may seem like a cop- 
out, but it is actually harder to do and causes 
more anxiety and humility than projecting the 
possibility of error on to the other person. 

If we can trust the sincerity of all concerned 
parties (and I believe we can, because not to 
trust is to project our own uncertainty), then 
we can be a body in pursuit of God’s movement 
among us. One of the ingredients of our Ana- 
baptist heritage is the process of a body of 
believers discerning God’s redemptive work 
among imperfect people. I believe that to 
accept a position of healthy creative ambiva- 
lence on this issue would represent a process 
that is compatible to our roots and not do any 
injustice to anyone’s pursuit of God’s will for 
them. — Gerald G. Kauffman, Goshen, Ind. 

Bothered by bothering to be Mennonite 

What association does any noble soul need 
beyond the body of Christ (Editorial, Dec. 15)? 
Association in the body of Mennonites will not 
add to but has the potential to distract from 
and even depreciate the greater association to 
which God calls us. It is true “we all need asso- 
ciation.” It is true that “the natural state of the 
church is to be in relationship.” It is true that 
“instinctively we know we can only be faithful 
together as a whole, not as individual parts.” 

That’s why “bothering with Mennonite” 
bothers me. It causes me to think differently 
about myself in distinction to others in the 
church of Jesus Christ. Mennonite identity is 
human-made, bearing a man’s name. Menno 
followers are an extremely small sect in the 
larger and divinely ordained association called 
the “ecclesia.” If we believe that “bothering 
with Mennonite” is the only way, then the edi- 
torial stands. But that would be extreme exclu- 
sivism and thus demand silence from the pro- 
ponents of diversity, inclusivism and tolerance. 

I hope we Mennonites do “bother with some- 
thing,” and I trust it will be with all those 
included in Revelation 5:9. It is the only associ- 
ation and diversity we will enjoy beyond this 
life. Deo Gloria! — Leon R. Shirk, East Earl, Pa. 

Clarification 

I need to clarify a statement in Brian Stucky’s 
Dec. 22 Readers Say letter. I have not advocat- 
ed associate membership in the integrated 
Mennonite Church for congregations that have 


theMennonite 


Vol. 2, No. 3, January 19, 1999 



features 

4 Binding and loosing 

Why the Mennonite church does not regard 
same-sex marriages as a Christian option part 1 

7 Homosexuality and the healing of the church 

God welcomes us — all of us — to a new life in Christ 

departments 

2 Readers say 

8 News 

North Korean corn • CPTers arrested • COM prayer program 

12 Newsbriefs 

13 For the record 

15 Nlediaculture 

16 Editorial 

Working out our salvation with fear and trembling 


Editor: J.Lorne Peachey 
Associate editors 
Feature: Gordon Houser 
News: Rich Preheim 
Marketing: Marla J. Cole 
Advertising: Melanie Mueller 
Secretary: Dotty Anderson 
Design consultant: 

Judith RempelSmucker 


Offices: 

61 6 Walnut Ave. 

Scottdale, PA 15683 
theMennonite@mph.org 

722 Main St., P.0. Box 347 
Newton, KS 67114 
theMennonite@gcmc.org 

Phone 1-800-790-2498 


Web site: http://www.mph.org/themennonite 


theMennonite 

Incorporating Gospel Herald (1908-1998) and TheMennonite (1885-1998) 

TheMennonite seeks to serve the U.S. context of the integrating General Conference Mennonite Church and Mennonite 
Church by helping readers glorify God, grow in faith and become agents of healing and hope in the world. The Mennonite 
(ISSN 1522-7766) is published weekly on Tuesdays-except for March 30, June 29, Aug. 3 and Nov. 30 in 1999- by the 
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y readers say 

been disciplined. In a Dec. 3 editorial, I did cite 
a “limited membership category” as an option 
suggested by some, but I did not say that is 
what should happen. I did say that I think we 
will have to live with different area conferences 
taking different approaches to discipline. As 
long as one area conference accepts a congre- 
gation, another area conference’s expulsion 
should not disqualify the congregation from 
membership in the denomination. — Paul Schrag, 
editor, Mennonite Weekly Review, Newton, Kan. 


2. Do judge. In John 7:24, the Lord Jesus 
directs, “Judge righteous judgment.” 

3. Accept God’s judgment. Jesus explains in 
Mark 7:18-23 that all sin germinates within the 
heart. The Holy Spirit identifies about 25 of 
those sins in Romans 1:18-24, then in Romans 
2:1 gives solemn warning against self-righteous 
judgment. Romans 2:2 continues, “We know 
the judgment of God is according to truth 
against those who practice such things.” They 
are even now under God’s judgment. Frank 
Horst, Warden, Wash. 

A farmer's perspective 

The article “Created in Christ” in the Dec. 15 
issue was excellent. Thanks, Philip Clemens. I 
also noted the good poem “Grandpa in the 
Dec. 29 issue. As one who tilled the soil for 20 
years with a tractor identical to the one pic- 
tured, I call it a red and yellow Massey Harris, 
not a red Farmall H. — Warren Shenk, Mount 
Joy, Pa. 


Judgments on judging 

Christianity’s duty is to proclaim divine truth 
affirming the 2,000-year-old teachings of the 
faithful church. 

1. Don’t judge. For all of us found in the pic- 
ture that Christ portrays in Matthew 7:1-6, 
Jesus commands, “Judge not.” 


theMennonite January 19, 1999 


3 



. Binding 

OOS11 


Why the Mennonite church does not regard same-sex marriages as a Christian option — part 1 


by John D. Roth ew topics in the church today whiten our 

knuckles or raise our blood pressure 
quicker than homosexuality. And for 
good reason. Embedded in the issue are 
basic questions about the authority and inter- 
pretation of Scripture, the place of personal 
experience in ethical decision making, the 
future of the nuclear family, the church’s rela- 
tionship to contemporary culture, and compet- 
ing understandings of church polity, personal 
freedom and congregational discipline. 

More than a decade ago, the General Con- 
ference Mennonite Church (GC) at Saskatoon 
in 1986 and the Mennonite Church (MC) at 
Purdue in 1987 issued statements of under- 
standing on homosexuality that were based on 
extensive study and discussion. But in the peri- 
od since then, public discussion of the topic 


If you are a gay or lesbian Christian, the church asks you 
to be celibate; sexual intercourse is reserved for a man and 
woman in a committed lifetime relationship of marriage. 

has been largely overtaken by news reports of 
contentious area conference proceedings and 
by often acrimonious letters to the editor of 
various church papers. Seemingly lost in the 
public press has been a clear rationale for the 
church’s position — as reflected in the Saska- 
toon and Purdue statements — as well as the 
possibility of a civil exchange with brothers 
and sisters who disagree with the church’s 
official understanding. 

I want to defend the current position of the 
GC and MC denominations on the question of 
homosexuality and argue for the church’s 
refusal to regard same-sex marriages as a 
Christian option. Clearly I bring a partisan 
voice to the discussion, a voice I hope is root- 
ed in a tradition of costly discipleship and radi- 
cal obedience to Christ. But at the same time I 
want to hear the voice of the dissident and the 
minority, recognizing that the Anabaptist tradi- 
tion of communal discernment calls us to 
engage rather than avoid the difficult task of 
conversation and decision making. My only 
caveat is that those voices who are calling for 


change do so from a position that the church 
can — indeed must — take seriously: a position 
that is ready to engage questions of biblical 
authority, ready to appeal to the church’s high- 
est principles and ideals, ready to agonize over 
its future within an increasingly complex and 
secularized culture. If this is the case, then 
even if we disagree, our conversation and 
debate over the church’s identity and the 
nature of authority will sustain and infuse our 
475-year-old tradition with new life and energy. 

What is the church's position? From the vantage 
point of history, the surprising, even amazing, 
thing is not that the church is resisting change 
on the question of homosexuality. In the Pur- 
due ’87 statement — echoing the basic themes 
heard in the Saskatoon ’86 document — the 
Mennonite Church agreed on an “affirmation, 
confession and covenant regarding human sex- 
uality.” 

The statement itself went far beyond the 
question of homosexuality, but on that particu- 
lar point it clearly calls on the church to repent 
of its fear and an absence of love toward homo- 
sexuals, and it insisted on “loving dialogue” 
and “an ongoing search for discernment and 
openness to each other.” 

More importantly, perhaps, the statement is 
self-consciously ambiguous at a number of key 
points. The Purdue ’87 statement, for example, 
does not insist that homosexual orientation is a 
sin. Indeed it implies (though it does not say 
this explicitly) that if you are a gay or lesbian 
Christian and wish to be an active member of 
the church, the church should welcome you, 
invite you into full fellowship, regard you as a 
brother or sister in the faith created in the 
image of God and called to a life of faithful 
discipleship. 

At the same time, however, the statement is 
explicit on at least one relevant point: If you 
are a gay or lesbian Christian, the church asks 
you to be celibate; sexual intercourse is 
reserved for a man and woman in a committed 
lifetime relationship of marriage. 

Why? On what basis — by what authority — 
does the church make this point? Here is 
almost always where the discussion becomes 
intense. In making its case, the church has 
generally appealed to two primary authorities 


4 


theMennonite January 19, 1999 


— Scripture and Christian tradition — and it has 
consciously relativized or rejected appeals to 
two other authorities — personal experience 
and cultural realities — often introduced into 
the discussion. In my view, almost all the dif- 
ferences we have within the church regarding 
homosexuality come down to our understand- 
ing of these various authorities. 

The exegesis in the next section draws 
heavily on an article by John R. W. Stott, 

“ ‘Homosexual Marriage’: Why Same-Sex Part- 
nerships Are Not a Christian Option,” ( Chris- 
tianity Today , Nov. 22, 1985), and one by 
Richard B. Hays, “Awaiting the Redemption of 
Our Bodies,” {Sojourners, July 1991). 

Scripture: What does the Bible say about 
homosexuality? At one level, not very much. 
Homosexuality is simply not a dominant theme 
in Scripture; it’s not nearly as pronounced, for 
example, as teachings on wealth or treatment 
of the poor. But a few things are worth noting. 

Nowhere does the Bible speak of homosex- 
uality in a positive way. The Bible doesn’t 
address a lot of things, but it’s at least worth 
noting that nowhere does the Bible suggest 
that homosexual unions are part of God’s 
intended plan for humanity or a healthy 
expression of human relations within the 
church. 

By contrast, there are many, many teach- 
ings in Scripture about marriage, and all of 
them — from the creation story in Genesis to 
the marriage supper of the Lamb in the book 
of Revelation — refer to the union of a man and 
a woman as part of God’s intended purpose for 
humans living in relationship to each other. 

When the Bible does speak about homosex- 
uality, the clear sentiment of the teaching is 
always negative. References to homosexual 
intercourse in Scripture are always associated 
with the fallenness of human nature and rebel- 
lion against God. 

Thus, in 1 Corinthians 6:9 and 1 Timothy 
1:10, we find homosexuals included in lists of 
people who do things unacceptable to God. In 
1 Corinthians, Paul is clearly exasperated with 
the church members there, some of whom 
apparently believe they are so spiritually exalt- 
ed that the old moral rules no longer apply to 
them. He confronts them with a blunt ques- 
tion: “Don’t you know that wrongdoers will not 
inherit the kingdom of God?” Then he gives an 
illustrative list of the sorts of people he means: 
“fornicators, idolaters, adulterers . . . thieves, 
the greedy, drunkards, revilers and robbers.” 
Included in the list are two distinct references 
to homosexual practice — one referring to the 
passive partner in homosexual activities (a 
male prostitute, usually a young boy), the 
other referring more generally to homosexual 
intercourse. Paul says these behaviors used to 
be practiced by some of the Corinthians, but 


now that they have come under the lordship of 
Christ they ought to leave these practices 
behind. The remainder of the chapter calls on 
the Corinthians to glorify God in their bodies, 
because they now belong to God and no 
longer to themselves. 

An even more crucial text for Christian 
ethics on homosexuality comes from Romans, 
where the condemnation of homosexual inter- 
course finds expression in an explicitly theo- 
logical context: “Therefore God gave them up 
in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the 
degrading of their bodies among themselves, 
because they exchanged the truth about God 
for a lie and worshiped and served the crea- 
ture rather than the Creator. . . . Their women 
exchanged natural intercourse for unnatural, 
and in the same way also the men, giving up 
natural intercourse with women, were con- 
sumed with passion for one another. Men com- 
mitted shameless acts with men and received 
in their own persons the due penalty for their 
own error” (Romans 1:24-27). 

Here Paul is not presenting a code of sexual 
ethics or even a warning about judgment for 
particular sins. Rather, he is offering a diagno- 
sis of the disordered human condition. It is not 
that homosexuality provokes the wrath of God 
but that it is a consequence of God’s decision 
to allow human beings to follow their own 
thinking and desires. The list of unrighteous 

Homosexuality is simply not a dominant theme in 
Scripture; it's not nearly as pronounced, for example, 
as teachings on wealth or treatment of the poor. But 
when the Bible does speak about homosexuality, the 
clear sentiment of the teaching is always negative. 

behaviors here is a list of symptoms pointing 
to the fact that humanity as a whole— Jews and 
Greeks, gays and straights alike — have turned 
away from God and fallen under the power of 
sin. Homosexual intercourse gets special atten- 
tion because it seems to provide a particularly 
graphic image of the way human fallenness 
has distorted God’s intention for human rela- 
tionships. When human beings engage in 
homosexual activity, they enact an outward 
and visible sign of an inward spiritual reality: 
the rejection of the Creator’s design. They 
embody the spiritual condition of those who 
have “exchanged the truth about God for a 
lie.” 

It’s important to note that homosexual acts 
are not uniquely reprehensible sins — they are 
no worse than other expressions of human 
unrighteousness listed in the passage — but 


theMennonite January 19, 1999 


5 


they remain for Paul concrete evidence of 
humanity’s confusion and alienation from God 
the Creator. 

Lest heterosexuals feel particularly smug or 
self-righteous, the passage ends in Romans 2:1 
with the reminder: “Therefore you have no 
excuse, whoever you are, when you judge oth- 
ers; for in passing judgment on another you 
condemn yourself, because you, the judge, are 
doing the very same things.” 

Ultimately the self-righteous, sneering judg- 
ment of homosexuality may be just as sinful as 


Healthy institutions and healthy individuals are always 
grounded in a sense of tradition — a living tradition — 
that provides the ballast or the filtering we need to stay 
oriented in the midst of the change all around us. 


the homosexual behavior itself. But even 
though this is true — we are all sinners stand- 
ing in the light of God’s mercy and grace — it 
does nothing to defend or justify or normalize 
or bless homosexual activity. 

Christian tradition: A second kind of authority 
to which the church appeals in making its case 
against homosexual intercourse and marriage 
is Christian tradition. This is not tradition for 
its own sake or merely the inertia of history. 
Rather it is the collective wisdom of the gath- 
ered body of Christ as it has been discerned 
and hammered out over time and expressed 
in various confessional statements and deci- 
sions. 

I am aware that appeals to the collective 
wisdom of the past are not regarded highly in 
a culture that tends to equate change with 
progress. But healthy institutions and healthy 
individuals are always grounded in a sense of 
tradition — a living tradition — that provides the 
ballast or the filtering we need to stay oriented 
in the midst of the change all around us. 

For nearly 2,000 years within the Christian 
tradition, and for some 475 years in the 
Anabaptist-Mennonite tradition, the accepted 
position of the church has been that homosex- 
ual intercourse or marriage goes against bibli- 
cal teaching and God’s will for humanity. That 
is not to say there have never been examples 
of homosexual love within the church or that 
overt resistance to homosexuality has been 
uniform throughout history. But never in the 
history of the Christian church has there been 
a widely accepted theological defense or public 
endorsement of homosexual marriage. 

Traditions can be wrong. And it may well be 
that the church will, over time, change its posi- 
tion on the question of blessing homosexual 


marriages. But for the church to do so in the 
space of 10 or 20 years, in the immediate after- 
math of a large-scale “sexual revolution” in 
Western culture, is a bad idea. Within the 
grand sweep of Christian history, such a deci- 
sion seems to reflect more the accident of a 
particular cultural mood than the wisdom of a 
carefully reasoned argument. 

Some readers will undoubtedly find these 
appeals to Scripture or Christian tradition 
insufficient. They may seem too subjective, too 
open to manipulation by the people who hap- 
pen to be in power. That is a valid concern. 

The dangers of confusing one’s interpretation 
of Scripture or one’s particular tradition with 
the will of God are genuine, especially for peo- 
ple in positions of power. But within the Christ- 
ian community, Scripture and tradition must at 
least be considered carefully and respectfully if 
long-standing ethical assumptions are to be 
challenged or overturned. 

If it seems unreasonable to appeal to Scrip- 
ture and tradition in matters of sexual bound- 
aries, consider as a thought experiment the 
question of incest. I would guess that virtually 
all Christians agree that incest — sexual rela- 
tions between very close family members — is 
wrong. While it may be thinkable that siblings 
or a parent and adult child could somehow 
move from an affectionate relationship to an 
erotic relationship — that they could have con- 
sensual sex and take appropriate precautions 
for birth control — no one would want to 
demand that the church bless such a relation- 
ship or that the community of faith celebrate 
the marriage of siblings or a marriage between 
a parent and child. Should there be trust and 
intimacy and vulnerability and intensely close 
relationships between siblings or between a 
parent and child? By all means. Certain kinds 
of intimacy are appropriate within these rela- 
tionships. Should siblings marry or have sexu- 
al intimacy and intercourse? No. 

Ask yourself why. To what sorts of authority 
are we appealing when we draw this particular 
line, which seems self-evident in our minds? 
The authorities, I suggest, are no different 
from the ones to which the church has 
appealed when it withholds its blessing on 
homosexual unions: There are clear biblical 
passages against incest, and there is the 
weight of the collective wisdom of the church, 
reinforced over time, that such relationships 
go against God’s best intentions for humanity. 

This is the first of a two-part article by John D. 
Roth, professor of history at Goshen (Ind.) Col- 
lege and editor of The Mennonite Quarterly 
Review. The article is adapted from a presenta- 
tion he made in a Goshen College chapel in Feb- 
ruary 1998. Part two will appear in next week’s 
issue. 


6 


theMennonite January 19, 1999 


Homosexuality and the 
healing of the church 


T he church has always known that God is 
a welcoming God. Yet the church has 
also known great controversy over who 
is welcomed and on whose terms. The 
church also believes that everything is embod- 
ied in love — God’s love. But there has been 
anything but consensus on just who is loved in 
a way that welcomes them into the church. 
Church divisions across history primarily 
come down to controversies over “insiders” 
and “outsiders.” 

No concern in the church today is more 
divisive or less given to real resolution and rec- 
onciliation by turning to the usual biblical texts 
or contemporary resources than the issue of 
homosexuality. We will not study our way to 
consensus. We will only live and love our way 
to a new way of being the church. 

Let’s consider a story in Acts 10 of two 
trances and two transformed people. Cornelius 
had a vision of God’s call to him and dared to 
answer, ‘What is it, Lord?” In this vision he 
was told that he would find a man named Peter 
in a town named Joppa. 

The next man to have a vision was Peter. 

On a journey, he stopped about noon at Joppa, 
tired and hungry. As food was being prepared 
Peter went up on the roof to pray. While pray- 
ing, he saw heaven open and a sheet lowered 
by its four corners. In it were all kinds of four- 
footed creatures, reptiles and birds. Peter 
heard a voice saying, “Rise, kill and eat.” 
Without hesitation Peter declared vehe- 
mently, “Absolutely not, Lord; for I have never 
eaten anything that is profane or unclean!” 

The voice said to him, “What God has made 
clean, you must not call profane.” The voice 
said to Peter again, a second time, ‘What God 
has made clean, you must not call profane.” 
This happened three times, and the sheet was 
suddenly taken up into heaven (Acts 10:9-16). 

Peter came out of this trance greatly puz- 
zled. Just then three men came to the gate and 
begged him to come meet Cornelius. Suddenly 
Peter begins to “see” — truly see! 

Here comes the transforming point for the 
church. In his encounter with Cornelius, Peter 
said, ‘You yourselves know that it is unlawful 
for a Jew to associate with or visit a Gentile; 
but God has shown me that I should not call 
anyone profane or unclean.” 

Two things beg to be seen in this trans- 


forming encounter. The first is that Peter had by Weldon Nisly 
an ecstatic, astonishing, mind-altering experi- 
ence. After a trance you see differently. The 
Greek word for trance (“ekstasis”) literally 
means to move “away from” what is “stalled” 
or “constipated.” 

These are vivid images for Peter and the 
church today. We need Peter’s trance to see 
how to get unstuck and to get moving again. 

This is not an out-of-body experience but a call 
to move away from our “stuckness” in a judg- 
mental world of clean and unclean. That call is 
to regard no one unclean whom God has 
called clean. It is a call to a new, life-giving 
church that moves toward God through Jesus 
Christ with the power of the Holy Spirit. 

The second thing to be seen in Peter’s 
trance is that the images were of creatures 
and food, but the vision was about human rela- 
tionships. 

Only when we see with Peter’s trance-filled 
eyes will the trauma over homosexuality be 


God welcomes us — all of us — to this new life in Christ. 
It is an eternal call to faithfulness to God in Christ on a 
journey with Peter, a journey to wholeness, to integrity, 
and to nonviolent love in all relationships at all times. 


transformed into the healing and hope so des- 
perately needed in the church. 

God welcomes us — all of us — to this new 
life in Christ. It is an eternal call to faithful- 
ness to God in Christ as we travel with Peter 
on a journey to wholeness, to integrity and to 
nonviolent love in all relationships at all times. 

This in no way says, “Come and believe and 
do whatever you want.” It does hear Jesus say: 
“Come and follow. . . . Come and labor and rest 
in me. . . . Come and live and grow in faithful- 
ness and love with my community.” It dares to 
hear Peter proclaim, “God has clearly shown 
me that no one should be considered unclean 
or an outsider.” 

Weldon Nisly is pastor of Seattle Mennonite 
Church. This article is adapted from a sermon 
he preached there in February 1998. 


theMennonite January 19, 1999 


7 


s news news news news news news 


Kernels of help bound for North Korea 


Farmers donate 50 truckloads of corn for MCC drive 


We almost had 
to hold back 
on donations 
because the ship 
can only handle 
50 truckloads. 

— Kevin King 


AKRON, Pa.— Faced with a bumper corn crop 
and low market prices, many U.S. farmers last 
fall were wondering what to do with their 
excess harvest. Mennonite Central Committee 
(MCC) provided an option. A severe famine in 
North Korea, where the fall crops produced 
only half the necessary food, sparked an MCC 
corn drive. 

Fifty truckloads of donated corn — nearly 
40,000 bushels— are scheduled to leave Hous- 
ton on Jan. 20 aboard the Spirit of Grace, a 
ship operated by Friend Ships, a Los Angeles- 
based nonprofit organization that delivers 
humanitarian aid around the world (see story 
below) . 

“We want the corn to be in North Korea in 
March,” says John Hostetler of the MCC East 
Coast regional office. “That’s just a couple of 
months before their harvest, when food is 
extremely short.” 

The corn will be distributed in villages in 
the northern part of the country where people 
are suffering most from a famine caused by 
three years of drought and flooding. An esti- 
mated 1 to 3 million North Koreans are believed 
to have died from hunger-related causes since 
1995. Much of the corn will be distributed in 
nurseries, kindergartens and hospitals. 

The drive began in September, and corn 
soon started pouring in from the East Coast to 
the Plains. “We almost had to hold back on 
donations because the ship can only handle 50 
truckloads,” says Kevin King, MCC material 
resources director. 


Ship's log: from military to humanitarian work 

AKRON, Pa.— While Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) is pro- 
viding the corn, Los Angeles-based Friend Ships is providing the 
means of transporting it to North Korea. 

Friend Ships, a nonprofit organization that delivers humanitarian 
aid around the world, has a fleet of five ships crewed by Christian 
volunteers and supported by private donors. Spirit of Grace, which 
will carry the MCC corn, was once a World War II supply ship. 

When I toured the ship, I could see where machine guns and 
heavy ammunition were mounted,” says MCC material resource 
director Kevin King. “It was moving to realize that something that 
once brought death now brings life .”— JoJo Fisher for MCC News 
Service 


Mennonite, Old Order Mennonite and 
Amish volunteers put the corn in 55-pound bags. 
The work was done during evenings and Satur- 
days at mills and elevators that permitted MCC 
to use their facilities. Most trucking of the corn 
to Houston was also donated or subsidized. 

Charles Geiser, who coordinated the drive 
in the MCC Great Lakes regions, says he 
asked for one truckload of corn from one com- 
munity and ended up with six. “I’m pleased 
and grateful for the cooperation of so many 
people in different areas,” he says. 

MCC Great Lakes gathered 21 truckloads of 
corn. Farmers in the East Coast region donat- 
ed 20 truckloads plus an additional four loads, 
which were shipped to Central America as part 
of Hurricane Mitch relief efforts. Nine truck- 
loads came from the Central States region. 

“It was a little slow getting started, but in 
the end it turned out well,” says Central States 
staff member Vern Preheim. “People really felt 
good about it once it was done.” 

The corn drive was MCC’s first in five 
years .— JoJo Fisher for MCC News Service 



Marvin Gerbrand stacks bags of corn at a Walton (Kan.) eleva- 
tor. The corn is part of a 50-truckload shipment from Menno- 
nite Central Committee to North Korea, which is mired in a 
food shortage. 


8 


theMennonite January 19, 1999 


CPT members arrested after stepping between 
Palestinian demonstrators and Israeli soldiers 


HEBRON, West Bank — Nonviolent interven- 
tion in what could have been a bloody con- 
frontation between Palestinians and Israelis 
got two Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) 
workers in Hebron arrested Jan. 10 by Israeli 
authorities. 

CPT members Sara Reschly and Pierre 
Shantz have since been released after a judge 
ruled that the case against them was weak, but 
a police investigation continues. 

The incident started when about 100 Pales- 
tinians marched to protest the closing of a 
local mosque and the placing of a curfew on 
the 30,000 Palestinians living in the section of 
Hebron still under Israeli military control. As 
the marchers approached the border between 
the Palestinian-controlled and Israeli-con- 
trolled sectors of the city, the marchers were 
met by Israeli soldiers armed with rubber-coat- 
ed metal bullets, tear gas and sound grenades. 

Reschly, Shantz and three other CPT mem- 
bers positioned themselves between the sol- 
diers and demonstrators. Whenever the sol- 
diers moved into firing position, the CPT mem- 
bers shouted, “This is a nonviolent demonstra- 
tion! They are not throwing rocks!” 

“I’m convinced that if CPT had not inter- 
fered when the soldiers were ready to fire, the 
situation would have immediately become vio- 
lent,” says team member Mark Frey. 

No shots were fired during the 90-minute 
standoff. But Shantz was slapped twice on the 
face and kneed in the back by an Israeli offi- 
cer. Civilian police arrested Reschly and 
Shantz on charges of interfering with the 
Israeli authorities, including assault. Another 
CPT member, Sydney Stigge-Kaufman, was 



also briefly detained at the protest site. 

Reschly was released after several hours, 
but Shantz was kept overnight. Police pres- 
sured them to avoid a court appearance by 
agreeing to stay out of Hebron for 15 days, 
which Reschly and Shantz refused. In a Jan. 11 
court hearing, the judge allowed the two CPT 
workers to return to Hebron. He released 
them on a 2,000 shekel ($500) bond and con- 
fiscated their passports while the police contin- 
ue their investigation. If no further charges are 
brought by Feb. 1, the bond money and pass- 
ports will be returned. 

Palestinian lawyer Jonathan Kuttab doubts 
the police will bring charges. “You have a lot of 
moral power that both sides recognize,” he 
says. “Running around without guns throws 
[both sides] off and gives you leverage.” 

Palestinians praised the CPT action. One 
demonstration leader told the members, “You 
have done your work.” 

The demonstration ended when older Pales- 
tinian men lined up their prayer rugs to pray 
while Israeli soldiers looked on . — CPT News 
Service 


Safety issues force MBM workers from Dagestan 


ELKHART, Ind. — Mennonite Board of Missions 
(MBM) workers Phil and Alice Shenk and 
their family unexpectedly had to leave the 
autonomous Russian Republic of Dagestan 
Dec. 30, 1998, after being informed 11 days 
earlier that their visas would not be extended 
beyond the Jan. 1, 1999, expiration date. 

Dagestan officials were primarily con- 
cerned about continued kidnapping and vio- 
lence in the heavily Muslim region, which bor- 
ders the Caspian Sea and the Republic of 
Chechnya. “They do not feel that they can 
guarantee the safety of any foreigners for visa 
extension at this time,” Phil Shenk says. 

A Swedish couple serving with Youth With 
a Mission was abducted in January 1998 by 
armed men in Makhachkala, the country’s 


largest city. A Phoenix man serving with the 
Evangelical Alliance Mission was abducted in 
November 1998, also in Makhachkala. 

The Shenks, in Dagestan since 1996, were 
in Bookhnog, an isolated village of 200. Sur- 
rounded by the Caucasus Mountains, Bookh- 
nog has few outside influences and is a four- 
hour drive from Makhachkala and two hours 
from Derbent, Dagestan’s second largest city. 

“Our situation is far more peaceful and 
secure than in any of the cities of Dagestan,” 
Shenk says. ‘We have felt safe here and sur- 
rounded by people who love us.” 

Phil and Alice Shenk likely will go back to 
Dagestan for a couple of weeks later this year 
to assess the possibility of returning long- 
term . — MBM News Service 


theMennonite January 19, 1999 


Sydney Stigge-Kaufman 
(right, in cap), a Christian 
Peacemaker Teams member 
in the West Bank , takes her 
position between Palestin- 
ian demonstrators and 
armed Israeli soldiers during 
a Jan. 10 protest in Hebron. 


Methodists back 
CPT campaign 

A Mennonite, Church of the 
Brethren and Quaker peace 
initiative has received 
Methodist support. 

The North Central New 
York Conference of the Unit- 
ed Methodist Church has 
passed a resolution calling 
for conference participation 
in Christian Peacemaker 
Teams' Campaign for Secure 
Dwellings. 

The campaign links West 
Bank Palestinian families 
facing home demolition with 
North American congrega- 
tions and individuals who 
can support and advocate for 
the Palestinians . — Signs of 
the Times 


9 


lews news news news news news 


Volleyball marathon 
nets funds for MDS 

To benefit Mennonite Disas- 
ter Service (MDS), Boyer- 
town (Pa.) Mennonite 
Church went to court Nov. 
27-28, 1998. The volleyball 
court. 

The congregation hosted 
a 24-hour volleyball mara- 
thon to benefit MDS's relief 
efforts in Puerto Rico. Partic- 
ipants raised $2,535 to help 
rebuild and repair houses hit 
by Hurricane Georges, which 
swept through the island in 
September 1998. 

MDS has set up a long- 
term project in Puerto Rico. 
— MCC News Service 



Vance 


MEDA helps fuel 
vocational change 

CONESTOGA, Pa. — It’s finally cold in Pennsyl- 
vania, and Maynard Shirk couldn’t be happier. 

Until late December, the state had been 
having unseasonably warm weather, including 
record high temperatures in the early part of 
the month. While welcome for most Pennsyl- 
vanians, it was awful for Shirk. 

But he can be forgiven for being out of step 
with everyone else. After all, he sells fuel oil — 
and the nice weather didn’t help sales. What 
makes it harder is that Shirk, owner of Shirk 
Fuels in Conestoga, has only seen unseason- 
able winter temperatures since starting his 
business in 1997. 

“I made slightly better profit per gallon than 
I projected in my first 12 months, but I sold a 
lot less than projected,” he says. 

A former heavy equipment mechanic, Shirk, 
51, started his business after enrolling in Men- 
nonite Economic Development’s ASSETS pro- 
gram. Based in Lancaster, Pa., ASSETS, start- 
ed in 1993 to help lower- and moderate-income 
people start small businesses. Shirk learned 
basic skills such as bookkeeping and account- 
ing. “It helped me learn what I needed to know 
to start my business,” he says. 

Shirk, a member of Masonville Mennonite 
Church, Washington Boro, Pa., looked for a job 
change because he wanted to spend more time 
with his children. “Work as a heavy equipment 
mechanic kept me busy 10 to 12 hours a day.” 

He decided on the fuel oil business because 
it would give him time off in summer, when 



Former heavy equipment mechanic Maynard Shirk started his 
own fuel-oil business in 1997 so he could spend more time 
with his children. To help get started, Shirk went through 
Mennonite Economic Development Associates' ASSETS pro- 
gram to learn business basics such as bookkeeping and 
accounting. 

his children were out of school, but be busy in 
winter. Also, he did a bit of research and found 
that there were no other small independent 
fuel oil distributors in his area. 

Today he serves 180 customers from his 
green and silver truck. So far, he is happy with 
how things have gone. “It’ll take time to be 
viable,” he says, noting he hopes to move 

100.000 gallons of fuel this year, up from the 

67.000 gallons he moved in his first 12 months. 
“About 500 customers would make it into a 

good business,” he says. 

Of course, that is if the weather cooperates. 
Shirk says that means cold, snowy conditions 
“and a good, strong wind to go with it ."—John 
Longhurst of MEDA News Service 


Looking good outside, feeling good inside 


LANCASTER, Pa. — Janatt Vance likes to listen 
to people. She also likes to cut and style hair. 
So it seemed natural enough to her to start a 
business which combines the two. 

Vance, 27, graduated Dec. 10 from the 
ASSETS small-business development program 
in Lancaster. The program was started by 
Mennonite Economic Development Associates 
in 1993. 

“I wanted to serve God but wasn’t sure I 
wanted to do full-time church work,” she says. 
“I love to do hair styling. . . . Through it, I can 
minister at the same time.” 

When people go to a hair dresser, they want 
to look better, says Vance, a member of South 


Christian Street Mennonite Church in Lan- 
caster. “But I want them to also feel better 
by giving them my time,” she says. “Many 
people just need someone to listen to them. 
... If they feel down, maybe I can lift them 
up. I certainly can pray for them.” 

For Vance, the 13-week ASSETS program 
was vital to helping her realize her dream. 

“It gave me confidence, helped me with 
important things like bookkeeping, cash 
flow, legal issues — all the things I need to 
know to start and run a business,” she says, 
adding that she hopes to open her salon in 
downtown Lancaster this month .— -John 
Longhurst of MEDA News Service 


10 


theMennonite January 19, 1999 


MEDA photo by John Longhurst 



Prayer program response delights COM 


NEWTON, Kan. — Years ago, when Jeannie 
Zehr began working for the Commission on 
Overseas Mission (COM), an older mission 
worker confided in her, “People just aren’t 
praying for us like they used to.” 

‘That really touched me,” says Zehr, COM 
secretary for mission communication. 

The growth of email and the arrival of a vol- 
unteer have now enabled COM staf f to put 
together the Prayer Partner Program — and the 
response has been overwhelming. 

“Marietta Sawatzky came back [from 32 
years of mission work in Taiwan] about 18 
months ago with a real concern for prayer, 
praying for mission work in general,” Zehr 
says. “She also wanted to do some volunteer 
work. I thought maybe this was the time to put 
together something we’d dreamed about for 
years.” 

So in May 1998, COM staff sent out flyers 
describing the program to every General Con- 
ference Mennonite Church congregation in 
North America. “We invited people to sign up 
individually or as representatives of small 
groups that get together regularly,” Zehr says. 

“We thought if we get between 25 and 50 
people, that would feel like a step in the right 
direction.” 

That number is closer to 300, according to 
the latest count. “The response has been amaz- 
ing and gratifying,” Zehr says. 

The Prayer Partners get monthly lists of 
prayer concerns from COM workers, which 
Sawatzky compiles from letters and other mes- 
sages. In addition, COM staff members email 
to Prayer Partners all the urgent requests — 
such as illnesses or injuries — that come through 
the COM offices in Newton and Winnipeg. 

Starting in December 1998, the COM office 
also began sending mailings on international 
church leaders. Each month’s mailing will 
include a brief profile and photo of a church 
leader, plus a prayer request. The first three 
were for church leaders in Botswana, Brazil 
and South Korea. 

The Prayer Partner information is also sent to 
most COM workers to help them keep in 
touch. “I always thought of COM as one big 
family where everyone knows each other,” 
Zehr says, “and then I began to realize that 
workers really only know those they might 
have met at COM meetings or mission semi- 
nars.” 

In addition to the number of people 
responding to the Prayer Partners program, 
COM staff members have also been surprised 
by their ages. An unofficial tabulation shows 
the largest number of partners to be in their 
40s, 50s and 60s. But there are also represen- 
tatives from younger and older age groups. 


“We sort of figured it would be an older 
people’s interest, and that’s why there would 
be fewer numbers,” Zehr says. “Maybe we set 
our expectations too low.” 

Mennonite Board of Missions and Eastern 
Mennonite Missions have similar prayer pro- 
grams . — Melanie Zuercher of GCMC News 
Service 



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theMennonite January 19, 1999 


11 



riefs newsbriefs newsbriefs 


by the 
way ... 

Republican Jerry Moran, a 
Mennonite Brethren from 
Hays, Kan., is the newest co- 
sponsor of the Peace Tax Fund 
intheU.S. House of Repre- 
sentatives . — National Cam- 
paign for a Peace Tax Fund 


Heritage center coming to Virginia valley 

HARRISONBURG, Va.— Virginia’s Shenandoah 
Valley, home to Mennonites for more than 
two and a half centuries, could see construc- 
tion start on a Mennonite heritage center in 
1999. The region is currently the only major 
Mennonite community in North America 
without such a facility. 

A local group wants to donate five acres in 
the Harrisonburg area for the heritage center. 
The land is valued at $300,000. Other plans 
call for a hotel and restaurant on an adjacent 
10 acres. The land has already been rezoned 
for the project. 

The Shenandoah Valley Mennonite Histori- 
ans, which has been leading the drive for the 
center, has agreed to expand its focus to 
include the Church of the Brethren. The proj- 
ect will be called the Shenandoah Valley 
Anabaptist Cultural Center. 


1770 Germantown church to be restored 

PHILADELPHIA — The 1770 meetinghouse of 
the first Mennonite congregation in North 



SST sends 6,000th student 


Photo by John Yoder 


Goshen (Ind.) College student Sophie Histand (right) receives congratulations from 
Humberto Perez (left), Goshen Spanish professor, as the 6,000th student in the school's 
Study-Service Term. Histand, a sophomore from Sellersville, Pa., is one of 41 Goshen 
students who will spend the spring term overseas under SST. In a Jan. 6 ceremony, 
Perez drew Histand's name at random out of a fur hat held by SST director Wilbur Birkey 
(center). Perez is a native of Costa Rica, while the fur hat is from China; both countries 
are among the locations for SST assignments. Goshen's SST program is 30 years old. 


America will be restored to its original 
appearance, the board overseeing the build- 
ing has decided. 

But the Germantown Mennonite Historic 
Trust knows restoration of Germantown Men- 
nonite Church will not be easy. The building 
has undergone many significant changes, 
including the addition of an elevated platform 
and pulpit, a rear room for Sunday school, 
wainscotting and lighting. No blueprints or 
illustrations exist of the unaltered meeting- 
house. 

The congregation in Germantown, now 
part of Philadelphia, was established in 1683. 
The 1770 meetinghouse was regularly used 
for worship into the mid-20th century. — Men- 
nonite Weekly Review 

Center sends first discipleship teams 

FORT WAYNE, Ind. — The first teams from a 
new discipleship center in Fort Wayne will 
complete training this month and start their 
mission work. 

The Great Lakes Discipleship Center and 
its Reaching and Discipling program opened 
in September 1998 with support from Men- 
nonite Board of Missions. One RAD team will 
go to London while another is bound for Bur- 
gos, Spain. The London team will help with 
church-planting efforts. The Burgos team will 
assist in a drug rehabilitation and prison min- 
istry. Each team has four members. MBM has 
supported the programs in both cities for 
many years. 

Another RAD team is scheduled to begin 
training in the fall, while another could start 
in March if there is enough interest . — MBM 
News Service 

EMU fills advancement, development position 

HARRISONBURG, Va.— Richard Gunden has 
been named vice president for advancement 
and director of development at Eastern Men- 
nonite University, Harrisonburg. He started 
his position on Jan. 4. 

Gunden, previously of Monclova, Ohio, 
was chief executive officer of the Ability Cen- 
ter in Toledo, Ohio, a center for independent 
living. He was also president of a consulting 
and training service to nonprofit, governmen- 
tal and educational organizations. 

He replaces Daryl E. Peifer, who resigned 
to return to private business. Gunden is a 
1968 EMU graduate and holds a master’s 
degree in rehabilitation administration from 
DePaul University. 


12 


theMennonite January 19, 1999 



record for the record for the record 


classifieds 


Births 

Brenneman, Rachael Renae, 

Dec. 23, to Bob and Kim 
(Gingerich) Brenneman, Harrison- 
burg, Va. 

Clark, Hunter Tyler, Dec. 12, 
to Julie and Keith Clark, Fishers- 
ville, Va. 

Edwards, Wynton Gabriel, 

Dec. 7, to Sharon (Miller) and 
Steve Edwards, Goshen, Ind. 

Eichelberger, Jake Austin, 

Dec. 29, to Brent and Renee 
(litwiller) Eichelberger, Hope- 
dale, III. 

Henry, Emily Meghan, Dec. 
18, to Terri and Mike Henry, Scio, 
Ore. 

Hockman, Eve Coryn, Dec. 21, 
to Ronald and Sheri Lyn 
(Thomas) Hockman, Telford, Pa. 
McFarland, Joel Cable, Dec. 
22, to David III and Laura (Cable) 
McFarland, Dartmouth, Mass. 
Nisly, Brandon Lee, March 12, 
1992, received for adoption Dec. 
16, 1998, by Betty and Mitchell 
Nisly, Milford, Neb. 

Nisly, Brianna Marie, Dec. 

15, 1995, received for adoption 
Dec. 16, 1998, by Betty and 
Mitchell Nisly, Milford, Neb. 
Schindler, Joshua Christian, 
Dec. 5, to Bethany (Lyndaker) 
and Wayne Schindler, Turin, N.Y. 
Sommers, Benjamin Kumar, 
Dec. 26, to Kendal and Robina 
(David) Sommers, Goshen, Ind. 
Stutzman, Parker Lyn, Nov. 
18, to Stacy (Schweitzer) and 
Mark Stutzman, Albany, Ore. 

Marriages 

Amstutz/Meyer: Jenny Amstutz, 
Pandora, Ohio, and Jeff Meyer, 
Ottawa, Ohio, Dec. 12 at Grace 
Mennonite Church, Pandora. 
Byers/Clum: Heather Byers, 
Bluffton, Ohio, and Brent Clum, 
Bluffton, Dec. 12 at Grace Men- 
nonite Church, Pandora, Ohio. 
Diller/Jayberg: Lisa Diller, 
Hesston, Kan., and Pat Jayberg, 
Goshen, Ind., Dec. 19 at Hesston 
Mennonite Church. 
Gingerich/Rudolph: Blaine 
Gingerich, Kouts, Ind., and Jodie 
Rudolph, Kouts, Nov. 28. 
Goshow/Lacher: Jennifer Lynn 
Goshow, Perkasie, Pa., and Chad 
Edward Lacher, Souderton, Pa., 
Dec. 27 at Blooming Glen (Pa.) 
Mennonite Church. 


Jones/Moon: Pam Jones, 
Lexington, Ky., and Dan Moon, 
Connellsville, Pa., Nov. 9 at 
Townsend, Tenn. 

Leu/Short: Helen Stuckey Leu, 
West Unity, Ohio, and Theron 
Short, Archbold, Ohio, Oct. 24 at 
Lockport Mennonite Church, 
Stryker, Ohio. 

Deaths 

Grieser, Chauncy, 80, Pedro, 
Ohio, died Dec. 3. Spouse: llva 
Nofziger Grieser. Parents: Daniel 
and Rosa Beck Grieser (deceased). 
Other survivors: children Hazel 
Schifflett, Judith Kelly, David, 
Dana; 10 grandchildren; two 
great-grandchildren. Memorial 
service: Dec. 5 at Wayside 
Chapel, Pedro, Ohio, and Dec. 7 
at North Clinton Mennonite 
Church, Wauseon, Ohio. 

Knox, Elsie, 79, Harrisburg, 
Ore., died Dec. 13. Spouse: Ver- 
non Knox (deceased). Parents: 
Frank and Annie Hostetler Kropf 
(deceased). Survivors: children 
Marion, Wayne, Paul, Victor, Ed, 
Arnold; 14 grandchildren; 12 
great-grandchildren. Funeral: 
Dec. 17 at Fairview Mennonite 
Church, Albany, Ore. 

Moyer, Robert, 46, Norris- 
town, Pa., died Dec. 28. Parents: 
Abram (deceased) and Elizabeth 
Moyer. Funeral: Dec. 31 at Lans- 
dale, Pa. 

Peters, Aldus, 85, Quarryville, 
Pa., died Dec. 25. Spouse: Nora 
Metzler Peters. Parents: Aldus 
and Emma Chambers Peters 
(deceased). Other survivors: chil- 
dren Robert, Elsie Minnich, Mar- 
tin, Walter, Ray, Roy; 1 1 grand- 
children; seven great-grandchil- 
dren. Funeral: Dec. 28. 

Root, Mary Harnish, 94, Lan- 
caster, Pa., died Dec. 22. Spouse: 
Clyde Root (deceased). Parents: 
Henry and Magdalena Herr 
Harnish (deceased). Survivors: 
children J. Clyde, Marian Shenk; 
eight grandchildren; 18 great- 
grandchildren. Funeral: Dec. 26 
at East Petersburg (Pa.) Menno- 
nite Church. 


Schlabach, Mary Troyer, 75, 

Sugarcreek, Ohio, died Dec. 22. 
Spouse: Owen Schlabach; Par- 
ents: Andy and Ada Miller Troyer 
(deceased). Other survivors: chil- 
dren Esther Warren, Clara, 
Frances Keim, Freda Troyer, 

Nancy Miller, Ray, Lester; 12 
grandchildren. Funeral: Dec. 27 
at Walnut Creek (Ohio) Menno- 
nite Church. 

Stalter, Harvey, 82, Chenoa, 
III., died Dec. 25. Spouse: Jennie 
Blackmer Stalter. Parents: Chris- 
tian and Mary Kiefer Stalter 
(deceased). Other survivors: chil- 
dren Nancy Murphy, Donna 
Smith, Dan, Daryl, Merle, Steve; 
14 grandchildren; seven great- 
grandchildren. Funeral: Dec. 28 
at Waldo Mennonite Church, 
Flanagan, III. 

Yoder, Edith Adeline 
Weaver, 79, Hesston, Kan., died 
Dec. 21. Spouse: Reuben Yoder 
(deceased). Parents: Reuben and 
Lucinda Ella Neuhauser Weaver 
(deceased). Survivors: children 
Marcia Lind, Sondra Glick, Lucin- 
da Schlabach; seven grandchil- 
dren; six great-grandchildren. 
Funeral: Dec. 26 at Hesston. 

Correction: Stanley Shenk was 
omitted under surviving children 
of Retta Boyer Shenk in the Jan. 

5 issue. 


• Amigo Centre has an immediate opening for a housekeeper This is 
a full-time salaried position with benefits. Please contact Dana Sommers at 
616-651-2811, Dana^amigocentre.org or write to Amigo Centre, 26455 
Banker Road, Sturgis, Ml 49091 . 

• Souderton Mennonite Church seeks a full-time minister of wor- 
ship and outreach. Qualifications include solid commitment to Anabaptist 
theology, passion for worship and skills in organizing people for outreach 
ministry. Not a preaching assignment. 

Send resume to Souderton Mennonite Church, attn. Leadership Search 
Committee, 105 W. Chestnut St., Souderton, PA 18964. 

• New Danville Mennonite School, an accredited K-8 school located 
in Lancaster, Pa., has an opening for an administrator. Applications are 
welcomed from qualified individuals who have a commitment to Anabaptist 
values and Christian education. Contact Gary Yoder, 1028 Frances Ave., Lan- 
caster, PA 17601; 717-394-5239 (evening); 717-581-6100 ext.128 (day- 
time); email BY10282aol.com. 

• European Heritage Tour, April 29-May 20, will feature Anabaptist 
sites in historic Europe intertwined with Swiss alpenhorn and German man- 
dolin concert, visiting your ancestral village, Rhine River cruise, and lots 
more as we tour Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France and Netherlands. 

Write for eight-page tour itinerary: Lemar and Lois Ann Mast, 220 Mill 
Road, Morgantown, PA 19543-9701; 610-286-0258; mast@masthof.org. 

• Growing, urban congregation seeks full-time lead pastor or pas- 
toral team to begin 9-99. Portland (Ore.) Mennonite Church has about 175 
active members and attenders. Key responsibilities include working with 
multiple staff, leadership committees, preaching, counseling and teaching. 
Strong Anabaptist focus a must. 

Send MLI form to Larry Hauder, PNW Conference Minister, 2028 N. 16th 
St., Boise, ID 83702; email questions to lhauder@compuserve.com. 

• Mennonite Central Committee is recruiting a Ten Thousand Vil- 
lages regional sales manager located in the southwestern U.S. Qualifica- 
tions include a degree in business/marketing (preferred); experience in retail 
management; knowledge of Ten Thousand Villages products; good personal, 
administrative and communication skills; and flexibility in traveling through- 
out the region. This is a full-time, two-year salaried position. 

For more information or to receive a copy of the job description, please 
contact Prem Dick or Goldie Kuhns at 717-859-1151; Mennonite Central 
Committee human resources department, or email them at psd@mcc.org or 
gpk@mcc.org. 


SPECTACULAR SCANDINAVIA 


and its Fjords 
June 14-28, 1999 

- wild fjords - rocky coastlines 

- green, fertile pastures - majestic mountains 
- endless summer nights - old world charm 
- gentle people - a cruise and more 

Call 1-800-565-0451 TODAY for a brochure. 

Ask about our Oberammergau 2000 tours. 



Tour M agination 

1011 Cathill Road 22 King SI. S.. Suite 401 

Sellersville, PA 18960 Waterloo, ON N2J 1N8 


theMennonite January 19, 1999 


IB 



classifieds 


• Mennonite Central Committee is actively recruiting two Ten 
Thousand Villages company store managers in Princeton, N.J., and 
Northampton, Mass. Qualifications include a degree in business administra- 
tion, marketing and/or experience and training in retail sales; managerial 
experience and ability; ability to attractively display merchandise and 
arrange store layout; enjoy meeting the public and dealing with customers; 
ability to train, schedule and supervise sales clerks; experience in ordering, 
bookkeeping and inventory maintenance; interest and/or experience in 
advertising and promotion. These are full-time, two-year salaried positions. 

For more information or to receive a copy of the job description, please 


Mission and 

Evangelism 

Institute 


June 28-July 22 

Global Urbanization and Mission 

Art McPhee, Ph.D. candidate, AMBS 

Study tour to Hong Kong and several cities in India 


Summer. 


July 6-15 

Evangelism in Early Christianity 

Alan Kreider, Ph.D., Regent's Park 
College, Oxford, England 

Gospel of John 

Willard M. Swartley, Ph.D., AMBS 


July 16-23 

Worship and Mission 

Eleanor Kreider, M. Mus., and 
Alan Kreider, Ph.D., Regent's Park 
College, Oxford, England 
Includes weekend Continuing 
Education event, July 16-18 
Evangelism and Anabaptism 

Stuart Murray, Ph.D., teacher and consultant in England 
Includes weekend Continuing Education event, July 16-18 



July 30 - August 6 

Communicating the Gospel in our Culture 

Wilbert Shenk, Ph.D., Fuller Theological Seminary 
Lois Barrett, Ph.D., Commission on Home Ministries, 
General Conference Mennonite Church 
Includes weekend Continuing Education event, July 31 
Leadership for Church Growth 

Art McPhee, Ph.D. candidate, AMBS 
Includes weekend Continuing Education event, July 31 
Conflict, Communication and Conciliation 

Richard Blackburn, M.A., Director, Lombard (111.) 
Mennonite Peace Center 



Associated 

Mennonite 

Biblical 

Seminary 


3003 Benham Avenue 
Elkhart, IN 46517 
219 295-3726 
1 + 800 964-AMBS 
registrar@ambs.edu 


contact Prem Dick or Goldie Kuhns at 717-859-1151; Mennonite Central 
Committee human resources department, or email them at psd@mcc.org or 
gpk@mcc.org. 

• Mennonite Central Committee is actively recruiting for five Ten 
Thousand Villages company store assistant managers in Bryn Mawr, 
Pa. (32 hrs/wk), Princeton, NJ. (32 hrs/wk). New Haven, Conn. (32 hrs/wk), 
New Haven, Conn. (20 hrs/wk) and Northampton, Mass. (32 hrs/wk). Qualifi- 
cations include experience and/or training in retail sales; managerial experi- 
ence and ability coupled with good organizational skills; willing and able to 
learn a variety of tasks under the direction of the manager; enjoy interacting 
with a wide variety of people and an appreciation for customer service; abili- 
ty to cover the responsibilities of the manager in his or her absence; support 

i of and commitment to the mission of Ten Thousand Villages. These are two- 
year salaried positions. 

For more information or to receive a copy of the job description, please 
contact Prem Dick or Goldie Kuhns at 717-859-1151; Mennonite Central 
Committee human resources department, or email them at psd@mcc.org or 
gpk@mcc.org. 

• Mennonite Central Committee is actively recruiting for the staff 
associate for urban peacemaking — Mennonite Conciliation Services 
position at MCC U.S., Akron, Pa. Qualifications include a commitment to 
Christ and his way of peace; training or experience in peace and justice con- 
cerns, especially conciliation, organizing, criminal justice, peace education, 
racism, gender issues; openness to advanced training in these areas; bache- 
lor's degree in related field preferred; strong urban experience; especially 
with racially and ethnically diverse communities; strong interpersonal skills 
and ability to relate to a broad spectrum of constituency groups; well-devel- 
oped writing, public speaking and teaching skills for adult and youth audi- 
ences; ability to work independently as well as part of a staff team. This is a 
full-time, two-year salaried position. 

For more information or to receive a copy of the job description, please 
contact Prem Dick or Goldie Kuhns at 717-859-1 151; Mennonite Central 
Committee human resources department, or email them at psd@mcc.org or 

| gpk@mcc.org. 

• Landis Homes is seeking an adult day services manager tor 

dementia care. A full-time position for a new facility serving people with 
dementia. Desire LPN or BSW with two years of experience with older adults 
in a supervisory capacity and experience or interest in people with memory 
impairment. 

Contact Human Resources, Landis Homes, 1001 E. Oregon Rd., Lititz, PA 
17543; 717-581-3936. 

• Rockhill Mennonite Community, Sellersville, Pa., a continuing care 
retirement community affiliated with Franconia Conference, seeks a CEO. 

The facility consists of 227 independent living units, 90 skilled nursing beds 
and 36 assisted living beds. Candidates must have the equivalent of a mas- 
ter's degree and five years experience in health care administration. Must be 
skilled in public relations, human resources and financial matters as well as 
overseeing operations based on established policies, including federal, state 
and local regulations. Must have demonstrated major leadership skills by 
facilitating and leading strategic direction setting in cooperation with a 
board of directors. Must be able to articulate and demonstrate commitment 
to the philosophy, values, mission and vision of the organization. Essential 
skills include current and future site and program development, manage- 
ment team building and supervision, and technology systems integration. A 
valid Pennsylvania nursing home administrator license is an asset. Must be a 
member of a Mennonite church. 

Interested candidates shall submit a confidential resume by Feb. 15, 
1999, to Stan Alderfer, chair of the search committee, 144 Telford Pike, 

Telford, PA 18969. 


Classified advertising space in The Mennonite is avail- 
able to congregations, conferences, businesses and 
churchwide boards and agencies. The cost for one- 
time placement is $1.10 per word, with a minimum of 
$30 per issue. To place a classified advertisement in 
The Mennonite, call 800-790-2498 and ask for Melanie 
Mueller. 


14 


theMennonite January 19, 1999 



re mediaculture mediaculture 


by Gordon Houser 

C onfession time. Like many others in our 
culture, I am a sports fan. My wife may 
remind you that “fan” is short for “fanat- 
ic.” I don’t think I’m that bad, but I must admit 
to becoming too emotionally involved in some 
sporting events. 

I’m not alone. For any of you who think 
men don’t express emotion, just go to a ball 
game or meet them on the basketball court. 

It’s not only men who get into sports. I was 
sitting in the Los Angeles airport on a Monday 
morning and overheard two elderly women 
discuss the fate of their beloved Detroit Lions 
in the football game the day before. Their con- 
versation betrayed not only emotional invest- 
ment but an extensive knowledge of the sport. 


Sports is a major part of our culture. It is 
big business, leading to athletes getting huge 
salaries, owners making big bucks and holding 
Super Bowls (see below) . 

Sports is part of our psyche. Attend a high 
school football or basketball game and you’ll 
encounter strong emotions from people who 
may appear docile on other occasions. And the 
mixture of music, elaborate cheers and color- 
ful uniforms at a high school or college game 
are as filled with ritual as any tribal custom. 

Sports is a spiritual arena as well. Some- 
thing seems wrong when people are more con- 
cerned about the outcome of a game than the 
fate of people dying from hunger or war. A psy- 
chiatrist has said that Kansas State football 

fans may indeed have 


Football's high holiday 

by Ted Lewis 

Demetrius addressing the image-makers of Ephesus: “Men, you know 
we get our wealth from this business”— Acts 19:25 

L ike the image of the goddess Artemis falling from heaven, the 
Super Bowl seems to descend on us annually from the mythic 
heights of our spectator culture. In fact, the word “super” in 
Latin means “above, higher,” which fits well with an event super- 
seding all other events. 

The highest-paid athletes compete while people pay the highest 
ticket prices. The highest numbers of TV viewers watch as adver- 
tisers pay the highest prices for 30 or 60 seconds. The city with 
the highest bid for hosting the game rakes in the highest rev- 
enues from pregame thrills. “Super” is an apt prefix for the Bowl 
of Bowls. 

What about “bowl”? This word comes from a Latin noun for 
“bubble” and a Teutonic verb meaning “to swell.” The Super Bowl, 
figuratively speaking, is a swelling bubble floating high up in the 
clouds, like the Goodyear blimp. 

Imagine Paul, the bubble-burster, speaking in the host city as 
he spoke in Ephesus: “Your enshrined images are not divine.” You 
worship the symbols of your culture, but next to the living God 
they’re not that great. They’re superficial. At this, the image-mak- 
ers of Ephesus (relying on the sale of idols to pilgrims) went nuts. 
A riot started. For two hours they shouted, “Great is Artemis!” 

I guess Paul struck a sensitive nerve. Religion and economics 
were so interlaced that he threatened both. “If Artemis is robbed 
of her divine majesty,” reasoned Demetrius, “our trade will lose its 
good name.” This reminds me of the Babel tower builders who 
wanted to make a name. The moneymakers of football’s high holi- 
day would also be threatened by God’s weighty glory, which can 
lower the lofty greatness of human glory. 

Ted Lewis attends Bergthal Mennonite Church, Pawnee Rock, Kan. 


been suffering 
depression after the 
unexpected loss that 
knocked them out of 
the national title 
chase. Such mis- 
placed emotional 
attachment demands 
prayer. 

Pray for me. For us. 




The best of 1998 

Here are the top five books I 
read and films I saw in the 
last year. I limited the films 
to 1998 releases, which 
meant leaving out some that 
were released late in 1997 or 
those that didn't make it to 
my neck of the woods in 
time to see before now. I list 
them in alphabetical order. 

Books 

• Cities of the Plain: A Novel 
by Cormac McCarthy 

• Damascus Gate: A Novel by 
Robert Stone 

• Heart of Flesh by Joan D. 
Chittister 

• Jesus and the Victory of 
GodbyN.T. Wright 

• Slaves in the Family by 
Edward Ball 

Films 

• Babe: Pig in the City 

• Saving Private Ryan 

• Shakespeare in Love 

• Smoke Signals 

• The Truman Show 


The Prince of Egypt (PG) is better than I expected. It does not 
match the complexity of the biblical story, but it manages 
some psychological depth. (It is not for young children.) The 
animation is striking, particularly the three-dimensional 
appearances, which leave the characters looking flat. One 
interesting touch is a dance of hieroglyphs to show the 
killing of Hebrew children. I liked the songs (by Godspell 
writer Stephen Schwartz). The film's main problem is how it 
reflects a view of religion as magical, not everyday. 



Moses and his people come to meet with Pharoah in Egypt. 


15 


theMennonite January 19, 1999 


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The Mennonite church and homosexuality ( 1) 

Working out our salvation with fear and trembling 


J. Lome Peachey 


This week’s The Mennonite is the first of two 
consecutive issues dealing with the subject of 
homosexuality. Based on numerous conversa- 
tions and letters I’ve had since this publication 
began almost a year ago now, I think I can 
safely predict the responses: 

“Oh, no, not again!” 

“Finally!” 

Those responses illustrate just how divided 
we are in the church about this issue. Some 
believe noncelibate gays and lesbians can be 
members of the Mennonite church; many 
more believe this is against the will of God. 

Almost all of us wish the subject would go 
away. It won’t. I’ve come to believe that, like it 
or not, it is precisely on this issue that our gen- 
eration of Christians will be judged on how we 
put our faith into practice and how serious we 
are about being disciples. For that reason, it is 
important that we understand what the issue is 
and what the Mennonite church has said is 
inappropriate for a Christian. 

The issue is not about homosexual orienta- 
tion. As John D. Roth points out in his article, 


How we do our talking may be as critical as the answers 
to which it leads us. Until we come to tears, whatever 
our decision, we will not be within the will of God. 


both denominational statements on human 
sexuality — Saskatoon ’86 of the General Con- 
ference Mennonite Church and Purdue ’87 of 
the Mennonite Church — are about behavior, 
not orientation. 

Nor is the issue about promiscuity. In his 
article next week, Roth notes the common myth 
in our society that all gays and lesbians are 
promiscuous sexual predators. For the church 
to play into that myth is wrong. We must get 
rid of the notion that those who disagree with 
the church’s position on homosexuality are 
advocating a promiscuous lifestyle for gays 
and lesbians — an undercurrent I hear all too 
often in our discussions about this issue. The 
church does not condone promiscuous sexual 
behavior for heterosexuals, and it does not for 
homosexuals. 


No, the question about which we disagree is 
this: Can the church accept as Christian be- 
havior monogamous, same-sex relationships? 

The General Conference Mennonite Church, 
the Mennonite Church and, more recently, the 
Conference of Mennonites in Canada have all 
said no. The basis on which they made those 
decisions is outlined by Roth in his two-part 
article. This week Roth deals with two authori- 
ties: Scripture and tradition. Next week he 
deals with what he calls two “lesser” authori- 
ties: personal experience and sexual rights. 

For the church throughout history, Scrip- 
ture and tradition have always had the most 
weight in making ethical decisions. But the 
church considers personal experience impor- 
tant enough that all the denominational state- 
ments on human sexuality also say that we 
must continue to dialogue with those who dis- 
agree. God may be working through personal 
experiences to lead us to change. We don’t 
know that yet, so we must keep on talking. 

Our world is watching us like a hawk on 
this one. In North American society today, the 
issue of homosexuality is divisive and volatile, 
leading to anger, hate, even murder. Sadly, too 
many of the same reactions are also found in 
the church. At least I’ve seen much more 
anger than tears in our discussions about 
homosexuality. But until we come to tears, 
whatever our decision, we will not be within 
the will of God. Too often our attitudes give us 
away as more human than divine. 

This is an uncomfortable position for Men- 
nonites — and for the entire Christian church in 
North America, for that matter. We need to 
make decisions on tough issues — decisions 
that affect lives and eternal destinies. But we 
must also be aware that how we make those 
decisions has as much or more to say about 
our faith and its meaning for our lives than do 
the actual decisions themselves. 

Thus we can only approach the subject of 
homosexuality and the decisions surrounding 
it with humility, contriteness and a sense of 
being human. When it comes to this issue, the 
Mennonite church must — in the words of the 
apostle Paul — work out its salvation “with fear 
and trembling” (Philippians 2:12 ). — jlp 


16 


theMennonite January 19, 1999 



theMennonite 



Franklin Breckenridge (left), a student at Associated Mennonite 
Biblical Seminary, is also an African Methodist Episcopal pastor. 


f 4 Clarity, charity and compassion 
6 Toward common ground 
9 Gay or straight, 'promiscuity is sinful 
1 6 The work to which we have been ca I 


say readers say readers say 


This publication welcomes 
your letters, either about our 
content or about issues fac- 
ing the Mennonite church. 
Please keep your letters 
brief — two or three para- 
graphs — and about one 
subject only. We reserve the 
right to edit for length and 
clarity. Publication is also 
subject to space limitations. 
Send your letters to Readers 
Say, The Mennonite, P.0. Box 
347, Newton, KS 67114. 

Or you can email us at: 
theMennonite@gcmc.org. 
Please include your name 
and address. We will not 
print letters sent anony- 
mously, though we may 
withhold names at our dis- 
cretion . — Editors 


Finding favor in the footnote 

I appreciated and was encouraged by the Jan. 5 
editorial (“The Footnote for 2 Timothy 1:12b”). 
We Christians too often co-opt the lack-of-suc- 
cess-equals-failure mentality of our age for our 
faith walk. But God loves our efforts, under- 
stands the difficult challenge of “seeing through 
a glass darkly” and is not looking for us to claim, 
or even focus on, success in our faith walk. 
Paul’s Christianity is clear about not being 
caught up in the tough and brutal success-or- 
failure culture: “I plant, Apollos waters, but it is 
God who gives the growth.” What a gentle 
metaphor: simple gardeners in God’s kingdom. 

I value The Mennonite because it too 
encourages a focus on effort rather than 
admonishment or condemnation of perceived 
failures. If, having made a mistake, we can 
stand in front of Christ and not be afraid, we 
should offer each other no less. Thanks for 
your persistence in that effort. — Christine 
Thomson, Phoenixville, Pa. 

I share the editorial’s feelings about 2 Timothy 
1:12b. It is worth noting that in the previous 
part of that chapter, Paul admonishes Timothy 
to be diligent in witnessing to the truth of the 
gospel, for God has not given him a spirit of 
fear. I very much believe that God, the Holy 
Spirit, is working throughout the world much 
more and in more ways than we realize. 

— Chris Wickey, Engadine, Mich. 

Anxiety attacks and attacking anxiety 

It’s difficult to imagine that one can add any- 
thing to the already prodigious amount of writ- 
ing on the subject of integration and homo- 
sexuality. But I would like to offer three obser- 
vations from a systemic perspective which may 
be relevant to the current discussion. 

1. Change almost always produces anxiety. 
The proposed merger of three Mennonite bod- 
ies, each with its own organizational structure 
and culture, is a massive effort at change. 

2. The identified issue are almost never the 
real issue. The identified stumbling block in 
the otherwise smooth path to integration is 
apparently homosexuality. But I believe that 
the major issue, wonderfully summarized by 
Rich Preheim, is “who decides who can be in 
the new church” (“Integration Traveled Rocky 
Road in 1998,” Dec. 29, 1998). It is, in other 
words, a question more of polity (where author- 
ity is lodged) than of hermeneutics (how we 
interpret Scripture). To talk of polity is to talk 
of power, which creates further anxiety. 


3. The ability of leaders to manage their 
own anxiety is one of the main determinants of 
a successful organizational change process. I 
was encouraged to read the interview with 
general secretaries Helmut Harder, George 
Stoltzfus and Jim Schrag regarding their per- 
spectives on the integration process (“Who 
Are These Guys?” Dec. 29, 1998). Jim Schrag’s 
ability to name uncertainty — and apparently to 
manage it — is a hopeful sign and an indication 
to me that this massive change effort may be 
successful after all. 

What remains is for the rest of us to learn 
to manage our own anxiety around the integra- 
tion process and to respond creatively rather 
than to react unhelpfully. — Dave Brubaker, 

Casa Grande, Ariz. 

Consultation intercession 

I am taking seriously the advice in the Dec. 8, 
1998, editorial (“An In-Turn Take-Out Would 
Have Given Us the Hammer, But I Couldn’t 
Get My Second Rock Over the Hog Line”). I 
have placed that issue with my Bible and devo- 
tional materials in order to pray daily for the 
March consultation on church membership 
and homosexuality. It is time to lay down our 
pens or turn off our typewriters, computers, 
email and fax machines and pray. 

I will not be praying that one side wins over 
the other. I will simply pray that the Holy Spirit 
will guide our leaders to answers which will be 
satisfactory. I wonder what could happen if 
50,000 or 100,000 church members would pray 
for God’s guidance in the planned consultation. 
It could perhaps lead us through integration 
and on to reaching beyond our borders in an 
unprecedented manner. 

May God be with all those involved in the 
work of integration, and may the Holy Spirit 
lead those involved in the consultation in March. 
— Kenneth Cressman, New Hamburg, Ont. 

Keen listening, sensible talking 

After reading Tobin Miller Shearer’s “Pearls, 
Swine and ‘Beloved’ ” (Dec. 29, 1998) , I agree 
that we should be ready to speak out. I teach 
in an all-black, rural Mississippi public school. 
It is expected that I give an answer to serious 
questions about why white folks do certain 
things. I believe that silence often encourages 
racists of any race to prevail. Entering into 
meaningful conversations can bear witness to 
Jesus’ love. Effective dismantling of racism 
requires a lot of keen listening and some sensi- 
ble talking. — Larry Miller, Macon, Miss. 


theMennonite January 26, 1999 


theMennonite 

Vol. 2, No. 4, January 26, 1999 



features 

Clarity, charity and compassion 

Why same-sex marriage is not a Christian option — part 2 

Toward common ground 

Heterosexual or homosexual — all must acknowledge sinfulness 

departments 

Readers say 
News 

Seminary enrollments • standards for sin • key to peace 

Newsbriefs 
For the record 
Speaking out 

Extend grace to gays and lesbians who come to Christ 

Editorial 

Continuing the work to which we have been called 


Editor: J. Lome Peachey 
Associate editors 
Feature: Gordon Houser 
News: Rich Preheim 
Marketing: Marla J. Cole 
Advertising: Melanie Mueller 
Secretary: Dotty Anderson 
Design consultant: 

Judith Rempel Smucker 


Offices: 

616 Walnut Ave. 

Scottdale, PA 15683 
theMennonite@mph.org 

722 Main St., P.O.Box 347 
Newton, KS 671 14 
theMennonite@gcmc.org 

Phone 1-800-790-2498 


theMennonite 

Incorporating Gospel Herald (1908-1998) and TheMennonite (1885-1998) 

TheMennonite seeks to serve the U.S. context of the integrating General Conference Mennonite Church and Mennonite 
Church by helping readers glorify God, grow in faith and become agents of healing and hope in the world. TheMennonite 
(ISSN 1522-7766) is published weekly on Tuesdays — except for March 30, June 29, Aug. 3 and Nov. 30 in 1999 — by the 
GC-MC Interim Periodical Board. Periodical postage paid at Scottdale, PA 15683-1999. Canada Post international publica- 
tions mail sales agreement no. 128562, GST no. R122192453. Subscription rates: $34.95 (U.S.) per year. Group rates avail- 
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Web site: http://www.mph.org/themennonite 


Postmaster: Send form 3579 to 616 Walnut Ave., Scottdale, PA 15683-1999. 


j readers say 

Sex, love and companionship 

Good things can become sin if they are no 
longer seen as a means to an end but become 
an end in themselves. The list of sins in Colos- 
sians 3:5 illustrates this. Money and possessions 
are necessary for our life on earth. They are to 
be used, not only for our own support and the 
support of others, but also to help the work of 
the church in extending the kingdom of God. 
But if money and possessions are no longer a 
means to that end and become an end in them- 
selves, they condemn us. 

Where personal gratification is the only goal 
of intercourse, the means of procreation is 
reduced to recreation, or an end in itself. The 
holy union of husband and wife is profaned by 
casual liaisons with any consenting partner. 
Since homosexual genital activity can never be 
procreative, it is always an end in itself. 


May we study the Scriptures and listen to 
the Holy Spirit to know how to use the good 
things God has given us to glorify and worship 
him —Joseph J. Voegtlin, Tofield, Alta. 

Both heterosexuals and homosexuals long for 
human companionship and love. That’s normal. 
But we have grown up with such false ideas 
about gays that some people class them with 
criminals, rapists, pedophiles and sex addicts. 
This is hateful and hurtful. Though it may take 
time to get used to the idea of two Christian 
gays in a lifelong covenant relationship with 
God and each other, this ideal helps homosex- 
uals mature spiritually, emotionally and respon- 
sibly in the same way that faithfulness to a life 
partner helps heterosexuals mature in marriage. 
We should not let ignorance of biology or of 
Bible times and languages or fear of differences 
exclude Christians who are in a covenant rela- 
tionship that is part of growing in God. 

— Esther Bohn Groves, North Newton, Kan. 


Cover photo 
by Tyler Klassen 


theMennonite January 26, 1999 


3 




Clarity, charit 


Why the Mennonite church does not regard same-sex marriages as a Christian option — part 2 


by John D. Roth cripture and tradition are not the only 

authorities to which one can appeal in 
the argument over homosexuality. 

There are at least two other sources of 
authority that I want to address and challenge, 
not because they are always wrong or com- 
pletely inappropriate but because in many dis- 
cussions they seem to enter as a kind of trump 
card that will somehow supersede the authori- 
ty of Scripture and Christian tradition. These 
are the authority of personal experience and 
the right to sexual expression. 

Personal experience: Frequently I have heard 
variations of an argument that goes something 
like this: If your child were gay, you would 
think differently about this. Or this: How can 
you as a married heterosexual tell homosexu- 
als how to live their lives? 

Personal experience is a natural and neces- 
sary part of any discussion of morality and 
ethics; circumstances and context are indeed 

Based on the messages from our culture, we can easily 
assume that there is a necessary and inevitable link 
between desire and deed, between impulse and action, 
between orientation and behavior. 

part of the framework for making ethical deci- 
sions. But in Christian ethics, you do not 
derive moral or ethical principles from the 
“givenness” of the context; you don’t base 
what ought to be on what is. If, for example, I 
discover that the uncle of a friend was killed in 
Desert Storm and my friend is strongly consid- 
ering joining the Marines, I should be sensi- 
tive in my language and gentle in my spirit. 

But there is no reason why those facts alone 
should suddenly imply that pacifism is no 
longer a tenable Christian position. 

Frequently — though not always — the appeal 
to personal experience is simply another way 
of defending radical individual autonomy, the 
modern, “liberated” self that is freed from any 
“meta-narrative” dike Scripture) that can stand 
in moral judgment of one’s options. But if you 
really mean that personal experience is an 
absolute authority in itself, then you also are 
granting other people — chauvinists and homo- 
phobes, for example — the complete freedom to 


act in whatever ways their personal experience 
might happen to lead them. 

To argue primarily from the basis of person- 
al experience, it seems to me, is the end of the 
conversation about ethics. Part of the essential 
mission of the church is to give structure to 
the meaning of Christian discipleship. Its 
authority to bind and to loose will inevitably be 
in some tension with personal experience. In 
the end, personal experiences cannot arbitrate 
morality for the Christian community. 

Sexual rights: Another form of authority that 
often emerges in the discussion of homosexu- 
ality comes out of the broader cultural milieu 
in which the debate occurs. This is the authori- 
ty of sexual rights, an argument that rejects 
the church’s call for chastity as cruel and 
dehumanizing. 

We live in a culture preoccupied — indeed 
virtually obsessed — with sexuality. In the mass 
media, Freud and Dr. Ruth have won the day. 
Expressions of sexuality — be they pornograph- 
ic, erotic, commercial, romantic, discussions of 
technique, debates over gender identity, 
demands for fulfillment — suffuse popular cul- 
ture and, by extension, our notions of individ- 
ual identity. In our culture, sex — and especially 
genital sex — has become the primary focus of 
human happiness and fulfillment. 

In a subtle but powerful way, this preoccu- 
pation with sexuality has made the option of 
chastity almost unthinkable. Based on the 
messages from our culture, we can easily 
assume that there is a necessary and 
inevitable link between desire and deed, 
between impulse and action, between orienta- 
tion and behavior. If you are inclined to 
express yourself sexually and you deny that to 
yourself, then you are likely a candidate for 
psychotherapy because there is no worse fate 
for modern Western humans than sexual 
desire that is somehow repressed. 

We can also too easily assume, based on the 
messages from our culture, that genital inter- 
course is the highest and best and fullest 
expression of human intimacy. Note how many 
movies and sit-coms assume that intimacy is a 
prelude to what really matters: sexual inter- 
course. The insinuation — not only for gays and 
lesbians but to all single people — is that you 
are somehow not fully human unless you’ve 
had sex. 


4 


theMennonite January 26, 1999 


ana compassion 


To both of these assumptions the Christian 
church responds with an alternative vision, a 
counter-story. Within the Christian communi- 
ty, true fulfillment does not assume that desire 
must always find expression in deed. In fact, 
the Christian community becomes a witness to 
the world precisely to the degree that it helps 
people — gays and straights alike — become 
free from slavery to desire. 

Furthermore, within the Christian commu- 
nity, genuine intimacy is not to be confused 
with sexual intercourse. There are many deep 
and fulfilling expressions of intimacy and affec- 
tion and vulnerability and love between individ- 
uals that stop short of genital intercourse. 
Within the church, chastity is not only a 
human possibility but is recognized in Scrip- 
ture as a spiritual calling, at least for some peo- 
ple. In sum, the appeal to sexual rights, under- 
standable and widespread as it may be in the 
popular culture, should not be regarded as a 
source of moral authority for the church’s 
understanding of sexual ethics. 

At the same time, however, I also need to 
acknowledge that many of the 92 percent of 
church members who think homosexual acts 
are “always wrong” (as reported in 1991 in The 
Mennonite Mosaic by Kauffman and Driedger) 
have also been deeply shaped by the prevail- 
ing assumptions of popular culture. Far too 
many in the church have had their attitudes 
and assumptions regarding homosexuality 
shaped by the smug arrogance often associat- 
ed with the religious right, an attitude that 
depicts all gays and lesbians as promiscuous 
sexual predators, consumed by their own lust 
and probably carrying the AIDS virus. Such 
attitudes in the church are mean-spirited and 
wrong. They are contrary to basic Christian 
decency, and they violate the spirit and letter 
of Scripture, our Anabaptist-Mennonite tradi- 
tion and the recent statements of the church. 
Sadly, despite all the appeals to “loving dia- 
logue,” the fact remains that the church in 
general is not a welcoming place for people of 
homosexual orientation. 

What does the future hold? Is there any way 
around the impasse? Must the discussion end 
with attrition or exhaustion? By disfellowship- 
ing each other? By still more ongoing, seeth- 
ing resentment? I hope not. None of these 
options seems appropriate for the church. 


I conclude by confessing that I do not know 
what the future holds for the church on this 
issue. 

But in spite of the confusion and tension 
that seem to prevail right now, I am convinced 
that Christian faith calls all of us to be open 
and expectant, anticipating solutions to human 
disagreements that come in ways we don’t 
expect. When all the doors seem closed, God 
can open a window. Are we looking for that 
window? Are we ready to stand in its light if 
God’s illuminating wisdom should suddenly 
shine through and pierce our current dark- 
ness? 

Until that light shines more fully, my hope 
is for a church that is genuinely open to people 
who have gay or lesbian orientations; a church 
that will recognize them fully as children of 
God, created in the image of God for a divine 
purpose; a church that will celebrate and use 
their gifts, not because they are gay but 

Sadly, despite all the appeals to "loving dialogue," the fact 
remains that the church in general is not a welcoming 
place for people of homosexual orientation. 

because they wish to be part of the fellowship 
of Christ; a church that is a safe and open 
place for gays to share how their lives have 
been shaped by their sexual orientation. 

And it is also my hope that gays and les- 
bians will — in the spirit of Scripture, Christian 
tradition and our best current understanding 
of God’s will — covenant with the church and 
with each other to live holy lives: lives that are 
rich and full, lives filled with emotional and 
spiritual intimacy and, at the same time, lives 
that are committed to sexual abstinence and 
celibacy. 

May God grant all of us clarity, charity and 
compassion as the discussion continues. 

John D. Roth is professor of history at Goshen 
(Ind.) College as well as editor of The Menno- 
nite Quarterly Review. This two-part article is 
adapted from a presentation he made in a 
Goshen College chapel in February 1998. 

Part one appeared in last week’s issue of The 
Mennonite. 


theMennonite January 26, 1999 


5 


TowardCOmillOllgrouni 

Integrity requires that heterosexual and homosexual men and women 


acknowledge their sinfulness as a common condition. 


by Martin W. Lehman 


F 


irst, some background: I was born of 
Mennonite parents in the conservative 
Mennonite community of rural Franklin 
County, Pa. My father was a pastor, evan- 
gelist and Bible teacher. I attended Eastern 
Mennonite High School and College in Har- 
risonburg, Va. I also served in Civilian Public 
Service camps during World War II. 

Later I became a pastor in Florida under 
Lancaster Mennonite Conference and Eastern 
Mennonite Board of Missions and Charities. I 
was the first resident bishop for the Lancaster 


One long-time friend felt like throwing me out of his house 
when he learned of my views concerning the church and 
homosexuality. Others who looked to me as a teacher and 
bishop, a pillar of the faith, are now disillusioned with me. 

Conference churches in the Southeast. Later I 
became the first general secretary of the 
Southeast Mennonite Conference. 

My churchwide service has included two 
terms on Mennonite Board of Congregational 
Ministries. I also served several terms as a 
member of the Listening Committee for Homo- 
sexual and Lesbian Concerns, appointed to 
that group by the Mennonite Church General 
Board. 

Now, at 72, 1 am retired from all that. I 
watch as Mennonites struggle to understand 
and accept the movement of God’s Spirit 
among them. This is particularly true with the 
troublesome issue of homosexuality. And I find 
that with my views, I am now one of a minori- 
ty, under suspicion from much of the rest of 
the church. 

One long-time friend felt like throwing me 
out of his house when he learned of my views 
concerning the church and homosexuality. 
Others who looked to me as a teacher and 
bishop, a pillar of the faith, are now disillu- 
sioned with me. This is painful for them and 
for me. They think I have been duped by liber- 
al scholars or by the gay community. They 
think I no longer believe the Bible to be the 
Word of God. 


I protest. I do believe that the Bible is God’s 
Word. I value scholars and their work. They 
read the Bible in a language that I cannot. It is 
not their findings that have changed me. The 
words of Leviticus, Romans and other perti- 
nent Scriptures may remain as they are, and I 
will still believe as I believe. Why? The years 
of listening to the testimonies of believing and 
hurting gays and lesbians have had a profound 
effect on me. 

I define a believer as one who loves Jesus, 
trusts him as Savior, accepts him as Lord and 
is committed to the church. I assert two basic 
premises: (1) that all heterosexual believers 
sin and (2) that there are many sinning homo- 
sexual men and women who believe. I grieve 
because these two groups of sinning believers 
do not yet know they are one, dwelling safely 
on common ground. 

My understanding of the common ground 
begins in Romans 1-3, where Paul concludes 
that “all have sinned.” Integrity requires that 
heterosexual and homosexual men and women 
acknowledge their sinfulness as a common 
condition. We will be uncomfortable with each 
other unless we all come to God as sinners in 
need of grace. 

Grace saves believers by giving instant 
attention to us when we fail. This constant care 
is free to all believers, homosexual and hetero- 
sexual alike. When we need help, we are invit- 
ed to come boldly to the throne of grace. 

When we don’t know how to pray, the Holy 
Spirit prays for us according to the will of God. 
When we fall short of God’s purpose for us, 
Jesus, the great High Priest, pleads with God 
on our behalf. When we sin, the blood of Jesus 
cleanses us daily. These securities guarantee a 
safe common ground for believing heterosexu- 
als and homosexual men and women. 

Many believing heterosexuals who sin do 
not concede that God’s redeeming grace is 
shown to sinning homosexual men and women 
who believe. This heterosexual majority is will- 
ing to let the world see a scandal that is more 
disgraceful than the scandal of too much 
grace. It is the scandal of a church dividing. 

Fear of too much grace grieves the Holy 
Spirit, who is both the agent and the seal of 
the transformation. This long-term activity of 


6 


theMennonite January 26, 1999 


Watching ice form 
on Shavehead Lake 


God within us is common ground for both by Susan Sommer 

believing heterosexual men and women and 
believing gays and lesbians. We dwell there in 
peace. 

Many of us wish the homosexual issue 
would just go away. “Let’s take a vote,” we say, 

“and decide the issue once and for all so we 
can get on with the business of the church.” 

We fail to recognize that dealing with the 
homosexual issue is the business of the 
church. To rely on the ways of the world — like 
an up or down vote or some other parliamen- 
tary maneuver — to make the church’s busi- 
ness go away will not work no matter which 
side “wins.” 

How wonderful it will be when all God’s 
people dwell in peace on common ground and 
feast humbly and joyfully at the Communion 
table. Then the world will see and believe that 
we are indeed a people of vision, healing and 
hope. 

Martin W. Lehman, Sarasota, Fla., is a retired 
minister who now teaches Sunday school at the 
Bahia Vista Mennonite Church. “Sixty-two years 
ago I promised at baptism to give and receive 
counsel,” he says, “and this article is an attempt 
to be faithful to that promise. ” 


To rely on the ways of the world — 
like an up or down vote or some other 
parliamentary maneuver — to make 
the church's business go away will not 
work no matter which side "wins." 


If I could paint a picture, say, 

I'd paint in shades of gray on gray, 

Repeat the snow, the wind, the feel — 

The birches light, the lake in steel. 

The willows charcoal, tipped in gold 
The snow the palest shade of cold 
The coots near black, their bills, though, light 
The swans, like snow, grayed almost white. 

The geese and mallards, canvas backs 
Slate gray, duck green with whites and blacks 

I'd paint the blue jays' warning cry 
Gray blue streaked black on light gray sky, 

Titmice on magnolia tree 
With buds fuzzed gray — set in the lee 
Protected there from wind-blown snow 
For goldfinch grayed to match the blow 
All gathered in deep winter's storm 
We watch the lake for ice to form 
Congeal and gone, the ducks swim free 
The coots still dive, the mallards see 
The food put out for songbird fest, 

Dark bits on snow land mallards best. 

The wind stirs lake, ice islands drift 
The wind turns gale, grayed crystals lift. 

I'd paint the graying of the day 

I'd paint no sun, I'd paint the way 

The trees expose their inmost boughs 

Grayed down, stripped clean of summer's shows. 

I'd paint the softening of the hour 
The blurring lines — I'd paint the power 
Of white not white and black not black, 

And, losing color, losing track 
Of all the rights and wrongs we know. 

Lost there, in wind and blowing snow. 

But gained is all the subtlety 

Swim free. 

Susan Sommer lives in Tremont, III. 

Shavehead Lake is in Cassopolis, Mich., where Camp Friedens- 
wald, church camp of the Central District Conference, is located. 


theMennonite January 26, 1999 


7 


news news news news news news 


Perceptions 
and reality 

While the two U.S. Menno- 
nite seminaries staunchly 
emphasize their Menno- 
nitism, there are fears that 
perceptions could be eroded 
by the growing percentages 
of students from other 
denominations. 

Willard Swartley, dean of 
Associated Mennonite Bibli- 
cal Seminary (AMBS), says he 
has encountered that senti- 
ment among constituency. 

"Do we want to give to a 
school that is educating so 
many Methodists? That has 
been raised by a donor," he 
says. 

Both AMBS and Eastern 
Mennonite Seminary have 
been approved by the United 
Methodist Church for train- 
ing its pastors, and AMBS 
particularly has seen a jump 
in Methodist students in the 
last several years. "We don't 
advertise, but they come," 
Swartley says . — Rich Preheim 


Fewer Mennonite, 
more non-Mennonite 
students at AMBS, EMS 

If Lillian French had gone to Eastern Menno- 
nite Seminary (EMS), she would be in the 
majority of students. That’s because she is not 
Mennonite. But then neither is 53 percent of 
the enrollment at the Harrisonburg, Va., school. 

But French, a United Methodist pastor from 
Jackson, Mich., is at Associated Mennonite 
Biblical Seminary (AMBS). Thirty-seven per- 
cent of the students at the Elkhart, Ind., school 
aren’t Mennonite either. 

“My incoming knowledge of Mennonites 
was probably 0 percent. . . . You were Amish to 
me,” French says. “So I was quite surprised 
and pleased to see you welcome other people.” 

Those “other people” — from Apostolic to 
United Church of Christ — have been essential 
to both AMBS and EMS. While the number of 
non-Mennonite students has risen slightly over 
the last five years, the number of Mennonite 
students has fluctuated wildly at AMBS and 
plummeted 37 percent at EMS (see below). 

While the presence of non-Mennonite students 
is welcome at the seminaries, the decrease in 
Mennonite students is cause for concern. ‘What’s 
happening right now is very much of a wake- 
up call,” says EMS dean George R. Brunk III. 

Seminary officials suggest a variety of rea- 
sons for the decline. Brunk wonders about a 
“spiritual laxness in the church that affects 
people’s sense of call.” He and other seminary 
officials believe there is less encouragement 
by church members for candidates to consider 
seminary. “Why aren’t conferences and con- 
gregations tapping people on the shoulders?” 
asks AMBS dean Willard Swartley. “My sense 
is that it is no longer happening.” 

Among other possible factors for the decline 
are vocational changes. Brunk says some fields 
which had been the domain of the seminaries 
and the church, such as peacemaking, have 


Seminary enrollment ups and downs 


1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 



Menno Other 

Menno Other 

Menno Other 

Menno Other 

Menno Other 

AMBS 

112 

43 

131 

38 

146 

48 

153 

64 

109 

64 

EMS 

70 

47 

70 

41 

57 

51 

62 

48 

44 

50 

TOTAL 

182 

90 

201 

79 

203 

99 

215 

112 

153 

114 



Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary student Franklin 
Breckenridge, an African Methodist Episcopal pastor from 
Elkhart, Ind., makes a class presentation. Forty-three percent 
of the students at the two U.S. Mennonite seminaries are not 
Mennonite. 

become more available for study and jobs in 
the secular arena. Yet another suggested factor 
is localism — Mennonites choosing not to pack 
and move to Elkhart or Harrisonburg but 
rather taking classes at a seminary closer to 
where they live. 

But localism has also worked for the two 
Mennonite seminaries. The non-Mennonites 
who attend do so, at least in part, because the 
schools are close. And in the case of the Unit- 
ed Methodists, both AMBS and EMS have 
been approved by the denomination for some 
20 years for training its pastors. 

Despite the changes in their student bodies, 
officials from both seminaries emphasize that 
the schools are still Mennonite and that they 
have put little if any effort into attracting non- 
Mennonite students. ‘We have not weakened 
the [Mennonite] composition of the faculty 
and staff,” Brunk says. “And our curriculum 
has not been changing over this time.” 

But changes are still evident due to the non- 
Mennonite students. AMBS professor Gayle 
Gerber Koontz cites her course, “Theology of 
the Church,” which covers topics such as bap- 
tism and discipline. 

“I don’t think I’ve taught it differently,” she 
says. ‘What might be different is the discussion. 
I think that can be energizing, actually, and the 
Mennonite students need to come up with rea- 
sons for why they believe what they believe.” 

Says French, “They are just being exposed 
to a little bit more of another denomination’s 
perspective .” — Rich Preheim 


theMennonite January 26, 1999 


Photo by Tyler Klassen 



Gay or straight/promiscuity is sinful' 

Congregations which welcome homosexuals 
say same standards apply as to heterosexuals 


Like probably all Mennonite congregations, 
Southside Fellowship in Elkhart, Ind., believes 
sexual activity is meant for a committed, long- 
term relationship. For most congregations, 
that means marriage between two people of 
opposite genders. But Southside pastor Jeni 
Hiett Umble also says sexual activity can also 
be acceptable between people of the same 
gender. 

“I expect heterosexuals to confine their sex- 
ual relations to a monogamous relationship. I 
would expect homosexuals to do the same,” 
Umble says. “I don’t think there are special 
rules for one group or the other.” 

Stereotypes may paint homosexuality as 
synonymous with promiscuity. But an informal 
survey of congregations which accept nonceli- 
bate gays and lesbians shows they apply the 
same standards to homosexuals as Christianity 
has applied to heterosexuals. 

Regardless of the gender of one’s partner, 
says Stan Smucker, pastor of Arvada (Colo.) 
Mennonite Church, “Promiscuity is wrong and 
sinful.” 

Double standard? The General Conference 
Mennonite Church and Mennonite Church 
statements on human sexuality and the Con- 
fession of Faith in a Mennonite Perspective 
state that sexual activity is reserved for hetero- 
sexual marriage, which means that premarital 
and extramarital sex are inappropriate, as is 
homosexual sex. While sexual activity between 
people of the same gender has become a test 
for membership in some conferences, homo- 
sexual supporters point out that premarital and 
extramarital sex are seemingly not issues for 
heterosexual membership. 

“The fact that we’re singled out for special 
attention is something of a strange feature of 
our times,” says Richard Lichty, pastor of Ger- 
mantown Mennonite Church in Philadelphia. 

Even though they preach and teach monog- 
amy and celibacy, Lichty and other pastors are 
not naive. They cannot deny that in their con- 
gregations are single people, both heterosexu- 
al and homosexual, who are not celibate. “I’m 
sure a number of [heterosexual] people we 
have counseled for premarital counseling have 
been sexually active,” Smucker says. 

“We don’t ask questions of heterosexuals 
when they join the church, so we don’t [ask] 
homosexuals,” he says. 

When discussing premarital and extramari- 
tal relations, one issue is that homosexual cou- 
ples, unlike heterosexuals, cannot be joined in 
a way recognized by the law and the church at 


large. Therefore, any sexual activity by homo- 
sexuals is outside of marriage. 

But this doesn’t mean two homosexuals 
cannot have a long-term, monogamous rela- 
tionship, akin to heterosexual marriage, where 
sexual activity would be appropriate, says 
Steve Ortman Goering, pastor of Boulder 
(Colo.) Mennonite Church. “The underlying 
assumption is that there would be a significant 
relationship with one person,” he says. 

Lichty points out that a number of homosex- 
ual couples in his congregation have had pub- 
lic commitment ceremonies, all of them before 
he arrived at Germantown in 1997. 

Community issues: Brethren Mennonite Coun- 
cil for Lesbian and Gay Concern’s Supportive 
Congregations Network is an organization of 
13 U.S. and Canadian Mennonite and Church 
of the Brethren congregations which accept 
noncelibate homosexuals as members. Neither 
BMC nor SCN has a position on monogamy 
and celibacy. 

“In keeping with our Anabaptist beliefs, 
BMC/SCN feels discernment in matters of 
personal ethics is best done from within a 
community of mutual accountability and 
respect,” says BMC executive director Jim 
Sauder. 

Like other congregations, those which 
accept noncelibate homosexuals have dealt 
with appropriate sexual activity in a variety of 
ways. “If we understand behavior is wrong or 
ill-advised, ... we try to address that,” Goering 
says. “What we try to do is pre-empt that from 
the pulpit.” 

Many congregations see those issues as 
part of greater issues of appropriate interper- 
sonal conduct. “If you prostitute yourself, you 
can do it many more ways than just sexual,” 
Lichty says. 

Proper relationships is one of the focuses of 
Atlanta Mennonite Fellowship’s covenant state- 
ment, says member Becky Kurtz, even though 
it does not specifically mention sexual activity. 
“Certainly it would make sense if it would 
include sexual relationships as well,” she says. 

Most, if not all, congregations which accept 
noncelibate homosexuals do not have written 
statements on sexual conduct. 

Lichty maintains that a person’s sexuality is 
more than just a bedroom activity; it also 
includes emotions, intellect, personality and 
other attributes. “It would be nice if we could 
address that, talk about the larger issues,” he 
says, “rather than who is attracted to whom.” 
— Rich Preheim 


theMennonite January 26, 1999 


Cancer rallies 
retirement center 

Linda Brown's job caused her 
to lose her hair. But not 
because of stress or worry. 

Brown works at Frederick 
Mennonite Community, a 
retirement center at Freder- 
ick, Pa. When she heard last 
fall that Jodeci, daughter of 
fellow employee James 
Johnson, had Non-Hodgkins 
Lymphoma and would have 
to undergo treatment. 

Brown cut her long hair and 
donated it to Locks of Love, 
which makes wigs for chil- 
dren who have lost their hair 
due to chemotherapy. 

Brown's action has been 
one of many ways the John- 
sons have been supported by 
Frederick Mennonite Com- 
munity. Employees and resi- 
dents have contributed for 
gas, tolls and parking for the 
family's 70-mile trips to the 
hospital in Philadelphia, plus 
other efforts. 

"The pastor of Hopewell 
Mennonite Church [Potts- 
town, Pa.] has been a regu- 
lar visitor," James Johnson 
says. "We don't belong to his 
church, but pastor Ken [Kirk] 
and his wife, Sandy, come 
every week to visit and pray." 

Jodeci is continuing her 
treatments. 


9 


EMM photo by Dale D. Gehman 


news news news news news news 


Hondurans get 
tractors from MCC 

Mennonite Central Committee 
(MCC) has purchased three 
tractors to assist hurricane 
relief efforts in Honduras. 
The Case IH tractors will be 
used by the Mennonite Social 
Action Commission of the 
Honduran Mennonite Church. 

The tractors were pur- 
chased at a reduced cost from 
Binkley & Hurst, a Lititz, Pa., 
implement dealer. Two of its 
employees will travel to 
Honduras in late January to 
prepare the tractors for use. 
MCC will pay for the trip 
while Binkley & Hurst will 
pay half the employees' 
salary during their weeklong 
stay . — MCC News Service 



As such profound- 
ly unjust people, 
we live off of 
forgiveness. 

— Miroslav Volf 

10 


New York man answers second call to serve 
to direct hurricane response in Honduras 


AKRON, Pa. — Last November, as Hurricane 
Mitch forged mercilessly through Honduras, 
David Martin decided that the needs of the 
storm victims outweighed those of the 75 dairy 
cows on his farm in Clymer, N.Y. But he had to 
change his mind to come to that conclusion. 

Martin, who served in Honduras with Men- 
nonite Central Committee from 1986 to 1989, 
had been contentedly pursuing a 10-year com- 
mitment to farming when he received a phone 
call from Linda Shelly, director of MCC’s Latin 
America programs. She invited him to consid- 
er returning to Honduras to help coordinate 
MCC’s post-hurricane relief efforts. 

Martin initially turned down the offer, intent 
on finishing his 10-year plan and citing various 
farm-related obligations. But four days later, as 
the severity of the situation in Honduras 
became clear, he reconsidered. 

“I knew the cows would have to go, whether 
I served two weeks or two years,” Martin says. 
“And if I got rid of them, I could be available 
for some time.” 

He then began to prepare for his Dec. 29, 
1998, departure. A local farmer agreed to rent 
Martin’s land during his two- to three-year 
term, and he sold his entire herd to a Wiscon- 
sin buyer. He sold one item to a local farmer, 
who insisted on giving him more than the 
agreed-upon amount. 

Though some might consider his decision 


brash, Martin sees it differently. “[Everyone] 
responds in a way that’s most appropriate: giv- 
ing money or material resources,” he says. 
“But for me it became apparent that, knowing 
the language and culture, I could be very use- 
ful there.” 

Since his first MCC term, Martin had pur- 
chased his family’s farm and enjoyed the work. 
But by spring 2000, he anticipated moving out 
of farming and pursuing another career or fur- 
ther education. 

“I love working with dairy cattle, but it’s very 
confining” says Martin, a member of Beaver 
Dam Mennonite Church in Corry, Pa. “Over 
the last nine years, MCC opportunities came up 
that I regretted not being able to be a part of.” 

While much of his role is being determined 
on site, Martin will initially work in the Hon- 
duran capital, Tegucigalpa, coordinating work 
teams in some of the hardest-hit areas. He will 
also assist Honduran church partners to devel- 
op and implement a long-term development 
plan. As other MCC volunteers arrive, Martin 
may relocate to the northern coastal region of 
La Ceiba to work in soil conservation, help 
replant crops and reclaim land covered by 
mud and silt. 

MCC is recruiting additional volunteers to 
serve in Honduras, including at least one more 
person with construction and agriculture skills. 
— Delphine Martin of MCC News Service 


Forgiveness key to peace, professor says 


SALUNGA, Pa. — Want peace? Work for justice. 
So says current Mennothink. But a Croatian 
theologian challenged that position at a Jan. 8 
consultation at Eastern Mennonite Missions 
(EMM) headquarters in Salunga, which drew 
70 Mennonite church leaders and scholars. 

Work for justice, yes. Expect it, no, accord- 
ing to Miroslav Volf, who said, ‘To have a just 
world, you would have to create it anew.” Rather, 
those seeking peace may find it by practicing 
forgiveness. “As such profoundly unjust peo- 
ple, we live off of forgiveness,” he said. 

Volf, who hails from Osijek, Croatia, recent- 
ly began a theology professorship at Yale 
Divinity School. EMM global consultant David 
Shenk said he initiated the consultation for “a 
cluster of us who walk within a tradition of 
peacemaking but perhaps sometimes because 
of that very tradition become blinded to the 
wonder of it all: the nature of the gospel and 

theMennonite January 26, 1999 


the Trinity as speaking to what it means to be 
truly a people of peace.” 

Volf’s presentation was grounded in his 
understanding of the Trinity. “The kind of god 
you worship will have ultimate impact on the 
kind of person you are,” he said. “So the Trini- 
ty somehow defines and impacts us. The doc- 
trine of the Trinity must lie at the center of our 
social vision.” 

Like the Trinity, “human community is not 
simply a collection of independent selves,” he 
said. “All divine persons [in the Trinity] inter- 
penetrate each other, and yet they don’t cease 
to be distinct persons.” 

Also sponsoring the consultation were East- 
ern Mennonite University, Franconia Confer- 
ence, Lancaster Conference, Mennonite Cen- 
tral Committee and Mennonite Christian Lead- 
ership Foundation. — Kristin Oberholtzer of 
EMM News Service 


Workers return with children to war zone 


ELKHART, Ind. — With two young children, 
Steve and Sheryl Martin are making a home in 
a country torn by war. 

The MBM workers returned to Kabul, 
Afghanistan, in November, 1998 — this time 
with an infant son, Micah. They also have a 3- 
year-old daughter, Sara, who has been evacuat- 
ed with her parents a number of times because 
of fighting in the country. 

The Martins first moved to Kabul in 1991, 
and both worked with an interdenominational 
nongovernmental organization. Steve contin- 
ues to work as the NGO’s finance director. 
Sheryl has made plans to work part-time as a 
nurse in a maternal health program and focus 
more on community health. 

The Martins were in the United States 
when parts of Afghanistan were hit by U.S. 
missiles in retaliation for attacks on U.S. 
embassies in East Africa. The NGO for which 
Steve worked set up a temporary office in 
Peshawar, Pakistan. Tension also has been 
high between Iran and the Taliban, a group 
which started as a student revolution and has 


taken over virtually all of Afghanistan. 

Although it is difficult because of govern- 
ment restrictions in the Islamic country, the 
couple is able to interact with the Afghan peo- 
ple. Sheryl tries to identify with women as 
much as possible through her dress. Afghan 
women are required to wear full-length cloth- 
ing and cover their faces. Some Western media 
reports have focused on the treatment of 
Afghan women. 

“Some women have benefited from the Tal- 
iban taking power. Others have lost jobs,” 
Sheryl says. ‘The security that the Taliban 
brings is something a large group of the popu- 
lation has enjoyed.” 

Despite the changes in Afghanistan, the 
Martins, with their children, are committed to 
remaining in the Islamic country, which they 
see as less volatile than when they arrived. 

“We’ve sort of grown with the situation,” 
Steve says, noting there is concern but that 
the agency he works with is careful about 
putting people in dangerous situations. 

— Marshall V. King for MBM News Service 


We've sort of 
grown with the 
situation. 

— Steve Martin 


Amor Viviente founder 
dies at 56 in Illinois 

PEORIA, 111 . — Ed King, a Peoria pastor who 25 
years ago helped start the Honduras-based 
Amor Viviente Mennonite-affiliated denomina- 
tion, died Jan. 8 of hepatits at the age of 56. 

King and his wife, Gloria, were serving in 
Honduras with Eastern Mennonite Missions 
(EMM) in the 1970s, organizing a charismatic 
youth ministry in the capital city of Tegucigal- 
pa. The Kings’ ministry, out of which Amor 
Viviente emerged in 1974, started with a cof- 
fee shop and counseling and eventually pro- 
duced weekend rallies, a Christian bookstore 
and an alcohol rehabilitation center. 

Amor Viviente, a member of Mennonite 
World Conference, today has 44 congregations 
and about 6,500 members. The church has 
also planted congregations in the United 
States, with some help from EMM. In 1985 in 
New Orleans, King started the first Amor 
Viviente congregation in the United States, 
which he pastored until 1989. At the time of 
his death, he was pastor of Living Love Min- 
istries in Peoria, the first bilingual Amor 
Viviente congregation. 

Before going to Honduras in 1969, the 
Kings served with Mennonite Central Commit- 
tee in Bolivia from 1965 to 1968. He also pas- 
tored Trinity Mennonite Church in Morton, 

111 ., from 1989 to 1990 and Calvary Mennonite 
Church in Washington, 111 ., from 1990 to 1995. 



1V1CV, pmnu iVItU !\. UCdl 

Seeds of recovery 

Mennonite Central Committee worker Selina Aktar distributes seeds to Bangladeshi 
farmers trying to recover from last summer's devastating floods, which left 10 million 
people homeless and destroyed 2 million acres of farmland. MCC is supplying 10,000 
famillies with seeds for wheat, potatoes, corn, radishes and other vegetables. MCC has 
already provided medical supplies to 40 orphanages and clinics and helped provide 
6,700 metric tons of wheat for food-for-work projects. Future plans call for assisting 
nearly 2,000 families in rebuilding or repairing their homes. 


theMennonite January 26, 1999 


11 


mefs newsbriefs newsbriefs 


by the 
way ... 

According to one estimate, 
the Old Order Amish popula- 
tion, now about 150,000 in 
the United States and Cana- 
da, could reach 25 million by 
2150 . — Family Life 


Service team raising funds for Colombian center 

CACHIPAY, Colombia — As part of Mennonite 
Board of Missions’ (MBM) Youth Venture 
program, seven teenagers and their two lead- 
ers spent two weeks in August at a retreat 
center owned by the Colombian Mennonite 
Church. That same team, now scattered 
around the world, is attempting to raise 
$15,000 to help the Colombian Mennonites. 

The retreat center, known as La Finca El 
Recreo, owns a van in extreme disrepair. ‘The 
only thing that will fix this van is a new one,” 
says team leader Christy Risser. 

Team members are raising funds for the 
van in their home congregations. Risser, who 
recently preached at Wood Green Mennonite 
Church in London, England, asked that her 
stipend be donated to the cause. Contribu- 
tions have also come from MBM workers 
Tom and Disa Rutschman. Tom grew up in 
Colombia, the son of Commission on Over- 
seas Mission workers Laverne and Harriet 
Rutschman . — MBM News Service 

Director of retired people's organization to retire 

ELKHART, Ind. — Barbara Reber, the only 
executive director the Mennonite Association 
of Retired Persons (MARP) has had in its 10 
years, will become a retired person herself on 
June 30. She announced her plans at the 
board of directors recent biennial meeting. 

Reber came to MARP after serving as a 
missionary in Japan, vice president of market- 
ing for a Chicago bank and executive director 
of the Women’s Missionary and Service Com- 
mission of the Mennonite Church. MARP has 
3,600 members in six states and conducts the 
Service Opportunities for Older People program. 
Today 132 SOOP volunteers serve in 51 loca- 
tions in the United States and 12 in Canada. 

Houses Against Hunger help fill MCC coffers 

LANCASTER, Pa. — The construction and sale 
of more than 60 houses in the United States 
and Canada over the past 12 years has raised 
nearly $5 million for Mennonite Central Com- 
mittee through the agency’s House Against 
Hunger Program. The most recent house, 
near Lancaster, was sold this month for 
$154,000. Twenty houses have been built and 
sold in the last decade in the eastern United 
States for a total of $2 million. 

Houses in the Houses Against Hunger Pro- 
gram are built largely with donated or dis- 
counted materials and labor . — MCC News Ser- 
vice 


Two groups to receive MBM grants 

ELKHART, Ind. — An inner-city youth program 
in Reading, Pa., and the oldest Mennonite 
mission on the Navajo reservation in Arizona 
have been chosen to receive $5,000 grants 
from Mennonite Board of Missions (MBM). 

For nearly three years, Zion Mennonite 
Church of Birdsboro, Pa., has been operating 
Code Blue Ministry in nearby Reading, work- 
ing with white, African-American and Latino 
children. Efforts include Bible training, recre- 
ational activities and a visitation program. 

MBM grant money will help pay for Daniel 
Smiley’s work as pastor at Black Mountain 
Mennonite Church in Chinle, Ariz., a region 
where the unemployment rate reaches about 
75 percent. Smiley, who grew up in the com- 
munity, has been Black Mountain’s pastor for 
about a year and a half. Since then, average 
attendance has risen from 10 to nearly 50. 

— MBM News Service 

Canadian relief sales top $1 .4 million 

WINNIPEG — Mennonite Central Committee 
relief sales in Canada generated more than 
$1.4 million (Cdn.) in 1998, about $100,000 
more than the previous year. Six of the 14 
sales topped $100,000, led by $380,100 from 
the Central Fraser Valley sale in Abbotsford, 
B.C . — MCC Canada News Service 


Mennonites 

meet in the 

pages of.... 



Open the magazine to find: 


•UpClose profiles •Faith&Life features 
•Conversations with readers 
•News about Mennonites in Canada and beyond 

Order your subscription today. 

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12 


theMennonite January 26, 1999 


e record for the record for the record 


Births 

Bailey, Ashley Elisabeth, Jan. 
1, to Holly (Friesen) and Shawn 
Bailey, Bradshaw, Neb. 
Brueggemann, Anna Justine, 

Dec. 22, to Jennifer (Penner) and 
Jon Brueggemann, Hebron, Neb. 
Cherveny, Katherine Eliza- 
beth, Dec. 22, to Annette (Bar- 
tel) and Kevin Cherveny, Topeka, 
Kan. 

Crowley, David James, Dec. 
15, to Brian and Fonda (Kandel) 
Crowley, Millersburg, Ohio. 
Garman, Alexander Riley, 
Jan. 6, to Douglas and Jill (Mar- 
tin) Garman, Ephrata, Pa. 
Hallman, Ezekiel Jacob, Dec. 
28, to Jake Hallman and Tara 
Haines, Pennsburg, Pa. 

Hernley, Katlyn Diane, Dec. 
21, to Justin Hernley and 
Roseann Shannon, Scottdale, Pa. 
Isaak, Daniel Lazaro, Dec. 4, 
to Dan and RoseMarie Isaak, 
Edmonton. 




Kaufman, Lucas Martin, Dec. 

18, to Dirk and Mary Kaufman, 
Scottdale, Pa. 

Kulp, Joseph Darren, Oct. 19, 
to Janelle (Derstine) and Jay 
Kulp, Ottsville, Pa. 

Martin, Melissa Joy, Dec. 31, 
to Craig and Crystal Martin, 
Oxford, Pa. 

Miller, Garrett Isaac, Dec. 31, 
to Pamela (Lipely) and Troy 
Miller, Millersburg, Ohio. 

Perez, Isaac Shalom, Nov. 10, 
to Samuel and Susanna (Lozano) 
Perez, Brownsville, Texas. 

Peters, Autumn Nicole, Nov. 
16, to Ed and Jody (Joyce) Peters, 
Lancaster, Pa. 

Sawatzky, Justin Wayne, 

Dec. 7, to Amber (Hutchins) and 
Jeff Sawatzky, Bessie, Okla. 

Steck, Konrad James, Jan. 1, 
to Audrey (Brubaker) and Randy 
Steck, Williamsburg, Va. 
Svoboda, Reilly Kayl, Dec. 23, 
to Jana (Ratzlaff) and Ryan Svo- 
boda, Lincoln, Neb. 



Ward, Jonathan Michael, 

Nov. 21, to Eric and Jodi (Camp- 
bell) Ward, Albuquerque, N.M. 

Yothers, Samantha Lynne, 

Dec. 28, to Jeff and Jenn (Diener) 
Yothers, Perkasie, Pa. 

Marriages 

Benett/Salazar: Vannessa 
Benett, Brownsville, Texas, and 
Bennito Salazar, Brownsville, Oct. 
24 at Iglesia Menonita del 
Cordero, Brownsville. 
Erwin/Herr: Melanie Erwin, 
Lancaster, Pa., and Thomas Herr, 
Lancaster, Dec. 19 at New Danville 
Mennonite Church, Lancaster. 
Hochstetler/Tulha: Richard 
Lee Hochstetler, Sao Paulo, 

Brazil, and Jucara Freitas Tulha, 
Sao Paulo, Dec. 19 at Jardim das 
Oliveiras Presbyterian Church, 

Sao Paulo. 

Hosterman/Norton: Jim 

Hosterman, Mogadore, Ohio, and 
Debbie Norton, Hartville, Ohio, 
Jan. 1 at Hartville (Ohio) Men- 
nonite Church. 
Johnsrud/Shelly: Andrew 
Johnsrud, Rochester, Minn., and 
Jessica Shelly, Rochester, Dec. 19 
at Bloomington (Minn.) 

Covenant Church. 
Koontz/Kratzer: Nathan 
Koontz, North Newton, Kan., and 
Esther Kratzer, Kidron, Ohio, Dec. 
28 at Sonnenberg Mennonite 
Church, Kidron. 


Deaths 

Albrecht, Evelyn Sharp, 79, 

Normal, III., died Dec. 27 of bone 
cancer. Spouse: Harold Albrecht 
(deceased). Parents: Ellis and 
Clara Sharp (deceased). Sur- 
vivors: children John, Lita Turner, 
Helen Hettinger; three grandchil- 
dren. Funeral: Dec. 30. 
Applebaum, Mary Lou, 56, 
Coopersburg, Pa., died Dec. 9. 
Spouse: Ross Applebaum. Par- 
ents: Floyd (deceased) and Mary 
Margaret Thayer Todd. Other sur- 
vivors: children Ryan Myers, 
Matthew, Lara. Funeral: West 
Swamp Mennonite Church, 
Quakertown, Pa. 

Claassen, Willard, 87, Pratt, 
Kan., died Dec. 26. Spouse: Edna 
(Friesen) Claassen. Parents: John 
and Christine Enns Claassen 
(deceased). Other survivors: chil- 
dren Stan, Linda Buchmueller; 
five grandchildren. Memorial ser- 
vice: Dec. 30 at First Mennonite 
Church, Beatrice, Neb. 

Dick, Aganetha "Nettie," 99, 
Aberdeen, Idaho, died Dec. 18 of 
complications from hip surgery. 
Spouse: A. B. Dick (deceased). 
Parents: Aaron and Katharine 
Falk Sukau (deceased). Survivors: 
children Irene Tiede, Mildred 
Brown; seven grandchildren; 1 1 
great-grandchildren; four great- 
great grandchildren. Funeral: 

Dec. 21 at Aberdeen. 


Ediger, Eldo, 76, Inman, Kan., 
died Jan. 2. Spouse: Letha Ediger. 
Parents: Jacob and Marie (Regier) 
Ediger (deceased). Other sur 
vivors: children Wesley, Barbara 
Jirik, Roxanne Thomas; 10 grand- 
children. Funeral: Jan. 5 at Hoff 
nungsau Mennonite Church, 
Inman. 

Friesen, Ann Doell, 88, Hen- 
derson, Neb., died Dec. 30. Sur- 
vivors: children Charles, Deborah 
Knickerbocker; two grandchil- 
dren. Memorial service: Jan. 3. 
Garber, Joseph Hess, 82, 
Edmonton, died Dec. 21. Spouse: 
Thelma Garber. Other survivors: 
children Larry, Elaine Stauffer, 
Carl, Evan, Allan, Alvin, Susan, 
Marilyn Rivers-Bowerman, Janet 
Paran, David; 20 grandchildren, 
four great-grandchildren. Memo- 
rial service: Dec. 28 at Holyrood 
Mennonite Church, Edmonton. 
Garber, Snavely, 86, Willow 
Street, Pa., died Nov. 27. Spouse: 
Barbara Rohrer Garber. Other 
survivors: children Kenneth, 
Dorothy Charles; five grandchil- 
dren; 13 great-grandchildren. 
Funeral: Dec. 2 at Willow Street 
(Pa.) Mennonite Church. 

Grim, Charles, 88, Poland, 

Ohio, died Dec. 28 of respiratory 
failure. Spouse: Mildred Detrow 
Grim. Parents: Monroe and Luella 
May Betz Grim (deceased). 
Funeral: Dec. 30 at Leetonia, 

Ohio. 


theMennonite 


Do you subscribe to The Mennonite 
but your church doesn’t have a group 
subscription plan? Then gather your 
friends, form a group (5 or more house- 
holds) , and save, save, save! Watch for 
your church’s invitation coming in Feb- 
ruary. 


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fax: 724-887-3111 

< theMennonite@mph.org> 

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fax:316-283-0454 

< theMennonite@gcmc.org> 
800-790-2498 


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theMennonite January 26, 1999 


13 


the record for the record 


classifieds 


Harms, Ernest, 73, Clinton, 
Okla., died Dec. 8. Spouse: Ruth 
Harms. Parents: Julius and Eva 
Harms (deceased). Funeral: Dec. 
10 at Herald Mennonite Church, 
Cordell, Okla. 

Kramer, Ernest, 82, Penns- 
burg, Pa., died Nov. 22. Spouse: 
Frances Kramer. 

Miller, Esther Mae Eichel- 
berger, 90, Goshen, Ind., died 
Dec. 29. Spouse: Joe Miller 
(deceased). Parents: Christian 
and Saloma Eichelberger 
(deceased). Survivors: children 
Lois Yoder, Daniel, David, Sam; 12 
grandchildren; 20 great-grand- 
children. Funeral: Jan. 2 at 
Waterford Mennonite Church, 
Goshen. 

Moyer, Titus, 82, Sellersville, 
Pa., died Dec. 31 of acute 
myocardial infarction. Spouse: 
Esther Yoder Moyer. Parents: 
William and Esther Clemens 
Moyer (deceased). Other sur- 
vivors: children Althea Derstine, 
Joyce Leasher, Titus; six grand- 
children; one great-grandchild. 
Funeral: Jan. 5 at Blooming Glen 
(Pa.) Mennonite Church. 


Neer, Joe, 78, West Liberty, 
Ohio, died Dec. 29. Spouse: 
Carolyn Cooper Neer. Parents: 

Earl and Edna Neer (deceased). 
Other survivors: children Connie 
Scheifele, Joan Clayton, Max, 
Terry, Larry, Roger; 13 grandchil- 
dren; 12 great-grandchildren. 
Funeral: Jan. 1 at South Union 
Mennonite Church, West Liberty. 
Ramseyer, Charles Samuel, 
74, Pulaski, Iowa, died Dec. 31 of 
lung fibrosis. Spouse: Lois Kathryn 
Ramseyer. Parents Sam and Maud 
Ramseyer (deceased). Other sur- 
vivors: children Larry, Dennis, 
Paul; six grandchildren; one 
great-grandchild. Funeral: Jan. 3. 
Roulet, Samuel, 72, Bloom- 
field, Iowa, died Dec. 14 of heart 
and kidney failure. Spouse: 
Mildred Roulet. Parents: Sam 
and Fannie Roulet (deceased). 
Other survivors: children Ken- 
neth, Keith; three grandchildren. 
Funeral: Dec. 17. 

Rush, Wilmer, 89, Quakertown, 
Pa., died Dec. 17. Spouse: 
Blanche Rush. Parents: Isaac and 
Amanda Fretz Rush (deceased). 
Other survivors: children Lowell, 
Arthur; seven grandchildren; 12 
great-grandchildren. Funeral: 
West Swamp Mennonite Church, 
Quakertown. 


Sell, Stella, 94, Frederick, Pa., 
died Oct. 13. Parents: Daniel and 
Mary Huff Hefler (deceased). 
Survivors: children Daniel, 
William; 11 grandchildren; 15 
great-grandchildren. Funeral: 
West Swamp Mennonite Church, 
Quakertown, Pa. 

Siemens, Arnold, 82, Albu- 
querque, N.M., died Nov. 30. 
Spouse: Elnora Siemens. Parents: 
Henry and Elsie Froese Siemens 
(deceased). Other survivors: chil- 
dren Warren, Leslie, Christine 
Lautt; five grandchildren. Memo- 
rial service: Dec. 8 in Buhler, Kan. 
Yoder, Ralph, 80, Kokomo, 

Ind., died Dec. 18. Spouse: Clara 
Hershberger Yoder. Parents: Peter 
and Mattie Hershberger Yoder 
(deceased). Other survivors: chil- 
dren Dennis, Larry, Marty Miller, 
Betty Kauffman, Irma Stutzman, 
Joan Gingerich; 14 grandchil- 
dren; five great-grandchildren. 
Funeral: Dec. 23 at Howard-Miami 
Mennonite Church, Kokomo. 

Correction: In the Jan. 5 listing 
of Gerald Kolb's death, his par- 
ents are Merle and Maxine 
Rodamer. 


• Amigo Centre has an immediate opening for a housekeeper. This is 
a full-time salaried position with benefits. Please contact Dana Sommers at 
616-651-2811, Dana@amigocentre.org or write to Amigo Centre, 26455 
Banker Road, Sturgis, Ml 49091. 

• Bethany Birches Camp, Plymouth, Vt., seeks summer staff June 
20-Aug. 13, 1999: counselors, assistant program director, cook, assistant 
cook, kitchen and maintenance workers, nurse, lifeguard. For more informa- 
tion: 2610 Lynds Hill Rd„ Plymouth, VT 05056; 802-672-3959. 

• Illinois and Central District conferences are seeking one full- 
time conference minister to serve the Mennonite churches in Illinois, 
eastern Missouri and Wisconsin, beginning June 1, 1999. For a job descrip- 
tion, contact Robert Nolt by Jan. 31 at renolt@juno.com or 309-367-4892. 

• Eastern Mennonite University: director for seminary develop- 
ment. 12-month, full-time. Bachelor's degree required. Seminary/graduate 
degree preferred. Skills in fund-raising, marketing and administration help- 
ful. Application deadline Feb. 10, 1999. Richard L. Gunden, 540-432-4499; 
email gunden@emu.edu. 

• Landis Homes is seeking a director of dining service. Exciting 
opportunity for an experienced food service professional to lead our team at 
Landis Homes, a progressive retirement community in Lititz, Pa. Must have 
strong team building and communication skills. Health-care experience 
needed. We offer a great work environment and full benefits. 

For immediate consideration, send resume to Culinary Service Network 
Inc., 1730 Walton Road Suite 100, Blue Bell, PA 19422; fax 610-828-2328. EOE 

• Menno Haven Inc. seeks a vice president of finance for a Menno- 
nite church-related retirement community serving 1,000 residents. Individ- 
ual will oversee all financial aspects of the organization. Candidate must be 
able to support our mission, corporate values, vision and Anabaptist princi- 
ples. Bachelor's degree in business administration or accounting and at least 
five years of related health-care financial management experience preferred. 
CPA or MBA a plus. 

Qualified candidates should send resume, references and salary require- 
ments to Chris Bumbaugh, Director of Human Resources, Menno Haven Inc, 1427 
Philadelphia Ave., Chambersburg, PA 17201; 717-262-1000; fax 717-261-0860. 


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14 


theMennonite January 26, 1999 


I speaking out speaking out speaking out 


Extend grace to gays and lesbians who come to Christ 


R egardless of the side one takes on ques- 
tions related to homosexuality and the 
church, people should read Pastor, I Am 
Gay by Howard H. Bess (Palmer Publishing 
Company, 1995). This book shares stories of 
people who have come to realize their homo- 
sexuality yet have faith in Jesus Christ and 
long to fellowship in his church. Many of the 
stories — of rejection and condemnation while 
searching for fellowship in the Christian com- 
munity — are heartbreaking. 

A similar book is From Wounded Hearts 
(Chi Rho Press, 1998), edited by Roberta 
Showalter Kreider. She tells stories of Men- 
nonites who discover they are homosexual. 
These books make the point that not all homo- 
sexuals are the same. There are many who do 
not live the “gay lifestyle” or promote a “gay 
agenda” — stereotypes held by many in the 
straight community. 

Bess and Kreider ask their readers to look 
with compassion on that segment of gays and 
lesbians who long to follow Jesus. Clearly the 
dreadful behavior of the sexual predators that 
roamed the dark streets of Sodom looking for 
newly arrived males does not describe these 
people (Genesis 18:16-19:29). Nor does the 
downward spiral of behavior depicted by Paul 
(Romans 1:18-32) apply. Those of whom Paul 
wrote knew God; then they became unthank- 
ful. They turned to idol worship. As they wor- 
shiped the creature rather than the Creator, 
God gave them over to sexual excesses and all 
manner of wickedness. 

In contrast are the people of whom Bess 
and Kreider write. Many grew up in Christian 
homes, participated in the life of their congre- 
gations, accepted Jesus Christ as Savior at an 
early age. They attended church schools. As 
they matured they realized they were homo- 
sexual. 

Bess and Kreider help heterosexuals sense 
the stress of that discovery. To acknowledge it 
publicly leads to dire consequences in family, 
church and community. To hide the discovery 
is to live in fear and to live a lie. The extent to 
which many of these people have gone to 
change their orientation, for the most part 
without success, is painful. 

Christians must lay aside the hate, violence 
and discrimination against homosexuals so 
common in society. Christians must go further. 
For a long time I believed and taught that all 
divorce was wrong. I have come to see that not 


all divorces are the same. While I do not con- by Paul M. Lederach 
done divorce, I realize that there are situations 
in which it is permissible — in cases of adul- 
tery, addiction and abuse. 

There is much that is known about homo- 
sexuality. There is also much that is still 
unknown. Fortunately, God knows all, knows 
the hearts of all. Fortunately, too, God is judge 
and will judge. As I read and hear the faith sto- 
ries of gays and lesbians, I am not only less 
able but also less willing to be judgmental. 

While I am well aware of texts in the Scrip- 
tures that prohibit homosexual activity, I also 
know that Jesus said, “No one can come to me 
unless drawn by the Father,” and “Anyone who 
comes to me I will never drive away” (John 

As I read and hear the faith stories of gays and lesbians, I 
am not only less able but also less willing to be judgmental. 

6:34, 37). After reading the stories told by Bess 
and Kreider, I am thankful also for these 
words of Jesus: “Come to me, all who labor 
and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 

Take my yoke upon you and learn from me; 
for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will 
find rest for your souls” (Matthew 11:28, 29). 

Bess and Kreider are asking Christians to 
extend grace to gays and lesbians who come 
to Jesus as Savior and desire to fellowship in 
the church and to leave judgment to God. God 
knows all and will deal gently, wisely and justly 
with us and with them. 

Paul M. Lederach is a former overseer and a 
retired pastor in Franconia Conference. 


The 18 th-century Mennonite Confession by Ris, Article XVII, "Of the Universal Offer of 
Grace and the Call of God Unto Faith," includes helpful words. Though directed to the 
thorny issue of the salvation of those who have not heard the gospel, these words, I 
believe, are also useful when thinking about the thorny issues related to homosexuality: 
"We regard ourselves as both disqualified and unable to define with exactness what 
the Lord our God through his omnipresent Spirit and his unceasing works of providence 
does and will do in the consciences of such nations and people who have been deprived 
of the knowledge of the gospel. For this reason we hold it best to maintain a holy silence 
on this point, since we know that God's decisions are always in accordance with the most 
perfect justice and are ordered according to the highest wisdom, and that he does not 
reap where he has not sown. Or if we should have to choose, we would think that he 
would for Christ's sake extend his mercy to those who according to the measure of their 
knowledge of God and his revelation have sought the Lord, feared him and glorified 
him." — PaulM. Lederach 


theMennonite January 26, 1999 


15 


Litorial editorial editorial 



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3003 BENHAM AVE 

ELKHART IN 46517-1999 

i i i 1 1 i 1 1 i 1 1 1 i i i 1 1 1 1 i ! i 1 1 1 ! 1 1 1 ! H i i 1 1 S i ! 1 1 i i i 1 1 1 ! 1 1 1 1 1 ! i ■ i ! S ■ ■ i 

The Mennonite church and homosexuality (2) 

Continuing the work to which we have been called 


J. Lome Peachey 


This week The Mennonite continues its discus- 
sion of homosexuality with the second in John 
D. Roth’s two-part article on why the Menno- 
nite church does not condone same-sex mar- 
riages. Last week Roth dealt with two authori- 
ties for this decision: Scripture and tradition. 
This week he looks at two more: personal 
experience and sexual rights. 

Most of the disagreements in the church 
about homosexuality settles around the autho- 
rity of the last two. How much credence, for 
example, do we give to what people say they 
have experienced, especially when that experi- 
ence goes counter to what many believe the 
Scriptures say? While we may not agree on 
interpretation of Scripture about homosexuali- 
ty (or even if there are any Scriptures that 
speak directly to the subject) , we surely don’t 
know what to make with evidences of the Holy 


This is the work God would have us do — find a way through 
this discussion that will demonstrate love and unity. 


Help us with change: 

Between this issue and the 
next, the subscription list 
of The Mennonite will be 
switched from one comput- 
er system to another. If your 
Feb. 2, 1999, issue does not 
arrive within two or three 
days of the usual time, 
please give us a call at 800- 
790-2498 . — Editor 


Spirit in the lives of noncelibate gays and les- 
bians. 

Many in the church argue that personal 
experience should be a criterion by which we 
determine a solution to this issue. But Roth 
would caution us to go slow about making 
changes in ethics on this basis. The question of 
same-sex marriages is relatively new for the 
church. For its entire history, the church has 
regarded sexual genital activity outside of het- 
erosexual marriage as against the will of God. 
To make a change in that position in 10 to 20 
years in the aftermath of a sexual revolution in 
Western culture would be unwise, Roth says. 

Going slow may be the toughest part for us 
all, regardless of our position on this issue. 

The disagreements about homosexuality and 
membership will likely not be solved in this 
generation — perhaps not even in many of our 
lifetimes. To insist that they be so is to make a 
mistake, regardless of which way the issue is 
resolved. 

To say that, of course, flies in the face of 
what we in North American society have come 
to expect. We want instant answers and imme- 


diate solutions. Today’s questions have to be 
answered before tomorrow. We are an impa- 
tient people, both as a society and as a church. 

The challenge before us as Mennonites 
today is to find a way to live with uncertainty, 
ambiguity and disagreement, especially on this 
issue. We can continue to reaffirm our denomi- 
national statements on human sexuality — Saska- 
toon ’86 and Purdue ’87 — challenging those 
who are homosexual to a life of purity and chas- 
tity, a position that will be difficult for many. At 
the same time we must continue to call the 
rest of the church to a life of purity, love and 
continuing dialogue — something that is also 
becoming increasingly difficult for others. 

This is the work that God would have us do: 
find a way through this discussion that will 
demonstrate love and unity. We must also take 
the time necessary to do so. That is hard when 
the pressure is on to resolve the question 
now — even if it would derail the integration 
process. 

Four years ago, the Holy Spirit led the Gen- 
eral Conference Mennonite Church, the Men- 
nonite Church and the Conference of Menno- 
nites in Canada to explore the possibility of 
becoming one — deliberately flying in the face 
of today’s increased tribalism and individual 
rights. Though the road toward integration 
since has been rocky at times, we cannot aban- 
don it now because of disagreements like this 
one. 

The Spirit continues to call us to unity. 
Exactly how this call is worked out in relation 
to membership and homosexuality is still to be 
determined. Regardless of which way the deci- 
sion goes, some of us will disagree and be 
unhappy. We must not, however, allow process- 
ing this disagreement and unhappiness to 
keep us from our primary task. 

At Wichita ’95, we agreed that this task was 
to unite. In this way, we said, our witness to 
the world and our mission to spread the gos- 
pel would be enhanced. I continue to believe 
that, for GCs and MCs at the end of the 20th 
century, our primary task is to become one, 
not resolve our disagreements about homosex- 
uality. Unity is the work to which God contin- 
ues to call us . — jlp 


16 


theMennonite January 26, 1999 




theMennonite 


ftii* w 


AMBS 
LIBRARY 
6LKHART, IN 



lers say readers say readers say 


This publication welcomes 
your letters, either about our 
content or about issues fac- 
ing the Mennonite church. 
Please keep your letters 
brief — two or three para- 
graphs — and about one 
subject only. We reserve the 
right to edit for length and 
clarity. Publication is also 
subject to space limitations. 
Send your letters to Readers 
Say, The Mennonite, P.0. Box 
347, Newton, KS 67114. 

Or you can email us at: 
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Please include your name 
and address. We will not 
print letters sent anony- 
mously, though we may 
withhold names at our dis- 
cretion . — Editors 


2 


The membership issue 

I am excited that a “Jerusalem Council” has 
been called to consider the issue of member- 
ship in the new denomination. The reason for 
the excitement is that the outcome of the origi- 
nal Jerusalem Council (Acts 15) may provide a 
clue for our own future if we follow its learnings. 

That original council, persuaded by Peter’s 
dream, accepted the testimony that the Spirit 
was manifest in the lives of the uncircumcised 
converts. Sacred writ yielded to experience. 
The council then asked that the converts only 
follow the rules of keeping themselves from 
sexual immorality, from food offered to idols 
and from blood. Only the first rule has become 
an article of Christian practice. 

If we follow the learnings of Acts 15, we will 
not exclude gays upon whom the Spirit has lit. 
We may ask them to live monogamously, but 
we will not set conditions on what it means to 
be a follower of Jesus Christ other than the 
manifestation of the Spirit. — Donald R. Steel- 
berg, Wichita, Kan. 

I believe there is a way to solve the impasse 
over the issue of membership and homosexu- 
ality. It is found in Article 19 of the Confession 
of Faith in a Mennonite Perspective. This calls 
for celibacy for people not in a heterosexual 
marriage. This position is fair in that it applies 
equally to people who are heterosexual or 
homosexual. We call unmarried heterosexual 
people to celibacy. We call married heterosexu- 
al people to faithfulness to their marriage 
vows. The issue of moral integrity is much 
broader than that of homosexuality. 

To solve the present impasse at the upcom- 
ing consultation on membership and at the St. 
Louis 99 convention, we would need to recom- 
mit ourselves to Article 19 of our confession 
of faith in support of celibacy. This then would 
free individuals, congregations and conferences 
on their own to declare their choice to be 
members or not of the new denomination 
based upon their acceptance of celibacy as a 
way to work redemptively and justly with this 
issue. — Eugene K. Souder, Grottoes, Va. 

I have the greatest respect for Robert L. Ram- 
seyer as a missionary, scholar and brother. But 
the question, “Do each of these area confer- 
ences really want the denomination to have 
authority to tell them who can and cannot be a 
member?” (Readers Say, Jan. 5) seems to start 
with a wrong assumption. The wrong assump- 
tion seems to be that the denomination is 


theMennonite February 2, 1999 


some sort of something out there instead of 
something of which we are all a part. This is 
not a matter of some distant body out there 
imposing standards of membership; it is a mat- 
ter of whether all of us who claim to be a 
church are enough of a real, discerning church 
to agree on some principles of membership. If 
we cannot have such agreement, how can we 
go into the world with any coherent witness? 
Why even claim a common name? Why claim 
to be a church? — Theron Schlabach, Goshen, 
Ind. 

Ervin Stutzman’s proposal that “we consider 
having different levels of membership” and 
that “conferences could be free to choose the 
level at which they would affiliate with and 
support the new denomination” (“Membership: 
Looking for Alternatives,” Dec. 8) raises a red 
flag. That sounds too much like the pattern in 
the current Mennonite Church prior to the 1971 
reorganization when several eastern confer- 
ences (such as Franconia and Lancaster) never 
formally joined Mennonite General Conference 
but participated in varying degrees in denomi- 
national work and support. Do we want to 
return to that kind of pick-and-choose relation- 
ship? — Harold D. Lehman, Harrisonburg, Va. 

Might not be one 

On the surface of things, knowing Jesus’ con- 
cern that his followers might be one, effort 
spent on integration would seem to be well 
spent. Yet one cannot escape the knowledge of 
the dissension regarding homosexuals, and 
that could well raise a larger question: What do 
we do about the Bible? It is difficult for those 
who believe in a perfect God in whom there is 
no darkness to believe that God would leave us 
with a flawed Scripture. There are also those 
who believe that the Bible is nothing more 
than a collection of writings, inspired, but with 
no more inspiration than any one of us can 
have. It is very difficult for those who take the 
Bible to be the indisputable Word of God to 
feel at one with those who consider the Bible 
to be merely a collection of writings. 

—James Faul, North Newton, Kan. 

Points about the times 

The Dec. 29, 1998, editorial, “Next Year Is the 
Time to Get Ready for Whatever,” was timely 
and apropos. It also could have been titled, 
“Good Happens.” Additional points worth pon- 
dering about the upcoming new millennium are: 
1. The vast majority of the world’s population 


Vol.2, No. 5, February 2, 1999 


4 


The radical mission of teaching and thinking 

The Anabaptist difference in Mennonite higher education 



7 None of us will get out of here alive 

Dying is part of life’s promise 


2 Readers say 
8 News 

Push for partnership • Colombian quake • city peace plan 

12 Newsbriefs 

13 For the record 

15 Wider world 

16 Editorial 

What they teach at our Mennonite schools 


Editor: J. Lome Peachey 
Associate editors 
Feature: Gordon Houser 
News: Rich Preheim 
Marketing: Marla J. Cole 
Advertising: Melanie Mueller 
Secretary: Dotty Anderson 
Design consultant: 

Judith Rempel Smudrer 


Offices: 

61 6 Walnut Ave. 

Scottdale, PA 15683 
theMennonite@mph.org 

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Web site: http://www.mph.org/themennonite 


theMennonite 

Incorporating Gospel Herald (1908-1998) and TheMennonite (1885-1998) 

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Church by helping readers glorify God, grow in faith and become agents of healing and hope in the world. The Mennonite 
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readers say 


could not care less. For 1.25 billion Chinese, it 
won’t even be a millennium; they’ve seen five 
others. Most of the world is non-Christian. 

2. A lot of people are making a lot of money 
on the millennium scare. The Latin expression 
“Caveat emptor” (“Let the buyer beware”) 
comes to mind. 

3. When Jesus Christ came the first time, it 
was not to the most wealthy and powerful peo- 
ple on earth; rather, it was to a tiny and poor 
country, economically enslaved to the most 
wealthy and powerful people on earth. 

4. The Scriptures teach that no one knows 
the time of the “Parousia.” Mark 13:32-33 says: 
“But about that day or hour no one knows, nei- 
ther the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but 
only the Father. Beware, keep alert; for you do 
not know when the time will come.” — Robert J. 
Zani, Tennessee Colony, Texas 


Hope for a new millennium Cover photo 

Assume some analyst 50 years from now will by Marilyn Nolt 
do an extensive investigation on this period of 
our denominational life. Is it not a little scary 
to think what she might conclude from read- 
ing the letters to the editor from the 1990s? I 
have heard about the Gay Nineties (1890s); I 
am living these ’90s. Is this an every-100-year 
phenomenon? I hope a new millennium brings 
a new issue. — Omer E. King, Coatesville, Pa. 

Spiritual astigmatism 

I recently had an eye test and thought of “Per- 
ception Is Reality” (Wider World, Jan. 5). The 
test included the astigmatism exam, in which 
I was asked to say which of the radiating lines 
of the target were darker. I suppose that all the 
lines were equal, but the optician didn’t ever 
say. What mattered is how I perceived those 
lines. Who is checking our spiritual eyes, and 
how can we correct the astigmatism that 
might show up? — David Hiebert, Scottdale, Pa. 


theMennonite February 2, 1999 


3 


Theradical missio 

The Anabaptist difference in Mennonite higher education 


by Gerald J. Biesecker-Mast ■ didn’t go to a Mennonite college after I 
I graduated from high school. My parents, 

I like many conservative Mennonites, were 
I convinced that Mennonite higher educa- 
tion posed a greater danger to my Christian 
commitment than did secular and evangelical 
institutions. So even though I had considered 
both Bluffton (Ohio) College and Eastern 
Mennonite College (now University), Har- 
risonburg, Va., as possible options, I ended up 
spending my college years at Malone College, 
an institution about which I have many good 
memories. 

Fortunately for me, in my adult years I 
found my way into a Mennonite college as a 
faculty member. Through teaching at Bluffton 
and in visiting other Mennonite campuses, I 
have come to cherish the unique gifts that 
Mennonite church colleges contribute to the 
world of higher education. It has become clear 
to me that Mennonite church colleges are 
among the best possible contexts for young 
people of all backgrounds both to find a wider 
wisdom about the truths of everyday life and 
to develop a loving loyalty to the church of 
Jesus Christ. 

I am also concerned that churches, parents, 
and students have not understood what is at 
stake when faced with the choice between sec- 
ular or evangelical education on the one hand 

Mennonite church colleges are among the best possible 
contexts for young people of all backgrounds both to find a 
wider wisdom about the truths of everyday life and to 
develop a loving loyalty to the church of Jesus Christ. 

and learning at a Mennonite church college on 
the other. The choice is clearer than many 
people suspect. Mennonite colleges promote a 
generous and self-sacrificial commitment to 
the mission of the church as their highest 
ideal; most other institutions, whether secular 
or Christian, do not. 

Separation from the world: As a student at an 
evangelical college I was encouraged to think 
about the world from a Reformed perspective 


on the creation. God created the world as 
good, I was taught, but after the fall, human 
sin distorted the institutions and cultures that 
ordered the created world. In that Reformed 
perspective on the creation, God’s plan of 
redemption made it possible for Christians to 
see within the corrupted creation the original 
intention of the Creator. Thus, according to 
this view, we Christians must now work at 
restoring all of life to God’s good intention. As 
this “all of life redeemed” perspective was 
interpreted to me, the church is just one of 
many human institutions that God seeks to 
redeem, rather than the primary agent of 
God’s reign in the world. 

On a number of occasions as a student at 
Malone I was told explicitly that the Anabaptist 
view was heretical because it contradicted the 
premise of this Reformed theology of creation. 
It is wrong, I was told, to say that certain insti- 
tutions — the military, for example — should be 
rejected in principle as legitimate vocations for 
Christians. More fundamentally, I learned at 
Malone, Anabaptist theology did not properly 
acknowledge the goodness of all God’s cre- 
ation and focused too narrowly on the church 
as God’s primary agent of mission and trans- 
formation. 

For many years I enthusiastically accepted 
this perspective until I read John Howard 
Yoder’s writings and realized that the Anabap- 
tist understanding of church and world as 
articulated, for example, in the Schleitheim 
Articles, is more complicated than the straw 
man set up by the Reformed critique of 
Anabaptism. Anabaptist theology acknowl- 
edges the goodness of creation but aspires, 
nevertheless, to the perfection of Christ. The 
sword, for example, is said in article seven of 
the Schleitheim Articles to be ordained by 
God and can be used for the good; however, 
the Christian disciple rejects the sword as out- 
side Christ’s higher law of love. 

I believe the Mennonite colleges have 
absorbed the worldview of the Schleitheim 
Articles. At Mennonite colleges, students 
come to understand the good creation of God 
in all its glory and fallenness; at the same time 
they are urged to consider the higher way of 
Christ as embodied by the church. More than 


4 


theMennonite February 2, 1999 


teaching & thinking 


seeking in the creation a dim reflection of 
God’s original intention, students at Mennonite 
colleges are urged to identify with the new cre- 
ation that is to come and that is already recog- 
nizable in the work of the church. 

At Bluffton College, for example, under- 
graduates can obtain a criminal justice major 
in which they study the realities, both good 
and evil, of the American criminal justice sys- 
tem. Along the way they are also introduced to 
alternative models of justice, models that grow 
out of the higher way of Christian forgiveness 
and restitution found in the life of the church 
and given expression by such church out- 
reaches as the Victim Offender Reconciliation 
Program. This approach mirrors the kind of 
learning I find in academic departments of all 
the Mennonite colleges. Whether students are 
studying human communication, physics, his- 
tory, music or educational theory, they are 
provided with resources for understanding and 
cultivating the material and social landscape of 
God’s good-but-fallen creation at the same time 
that they are urged toward a life of faith that 
strives for Christ’s perfection. 

In that sense, students at Mennonite col- 
leges are called to separation: separation of 
church from world, separation of mission from 
vocation, and separation of Christ’s perfection 
from God’s creation. Such separation is the 
first step in offering young people a clear 
choice between a pilgrimage of faith and a life- 
time of security. Rather than integrate faith and 
learning so as to feel comfortable in the world, 
our students are encouraged to find faith 
beyond learning so as to resist conformity to 
the world. Thus, students at Mennonite col- 
leges are urged to inhabit the creative tension 
between being in the world and not of it. 

Humility in scholarship: In reaching with stu- 
dents toward Christ’s perfection, Mennonite 
church colleges by necessity are modest about 
their calling and purpose. In a church whose 
theology demands suspicion of the arrogance 
of higher learning, Mennonite colleges have 
learned to ask of themselves the very ques- 
tions that the colleges’ critics have been ask- 
ing. At a recent consultation on Mennonite 
education at Goshen (Ind.) College, I heard 
faculty members and administrators from 


Bethel College (North Newton, Kan.), Fresno 
(Calif.) Pacific University, Hesston (Kan.) Col- 
lege, Goshen College, Bluffton College and 
Eastern Mennonite University (EMU) discuss 
with passion and concern how to teach the lib- 
eral arts without destroying the tender faith of 
students. At Bluffton, faculty and staff regular- 
ly discuss the spiritual and intellectual develop- 
ment of specific students, always seeking the 
best strategies for strengthening that student’s 
character or encouraging this student’s faith. 

Such a context demands that we faculty 
members view the rich resources of our aca- 
demic disciplines from within the larger per- 
spective of the church’s mission to students. 
While the primary work of the college is aca- 
demic training and research, the primary mis- 
sion of the church is discipleship building and 
maintenance. And while the church ought to 
view the college as indispensable to its mis- 
sion, the college should not be fused with the 
church. If a Mennonite college in all of its pro- 
grams acknowledges the priority of the 
church’s mission, the church in turn should 
acknowledge that the college’s function is not 
exactly the same as that of the church. The 
college stresses academics. The church 
emphasizes discipleship. A church college in 
the Anabaptist tradition stresses academics in 
the context of discipleship. 

Because of the priority of the church’s mis- 
sion, academic disciplines in Mennonite col- 
leges are never viewed as ultimate arbiters of 
God’s truth. Such ultimate discernment is the 
responsibility of the church. Academic disci- 
plines from biology to theology can tell us 
much about how the world of God is ordered 
and transformed. But academic disciplines 
cannot explain the blessed miracle of regener- 
ation or the radical commitment of disciple- 
ship. The world of God is not the body of 
Christ. For this reason, Mennonite colleges 
are never satisfied with a mere analysis of the 
way things are or simple preparation for voca- 
tion. Instead our institutions call students and 
faculty to the perfection of Christ, before 
whom scholars and researchers must bow. 

Such humility in scholarship explains why 
Mennonite educators find disciplinary imperi- 
alism distasteful. During my years in graduate 

theMennonite February 2, 1999 


Whether students 
are studying 
human communi- 
cation, physics, 
history, music or 
educational theo- 
ry, they are pro- 
vided with 
resources for 
understanding 
and cultivating 
the material and 
social landscape 
of God's good- 
but-fallen cre- 
ation at the same 
time that they are 
urged toward a 
life of faith that 
strives for Christ's 
perfection. 


5 


school, I became weary of the turf battles and 
interdisciplinary wars in the institutional mar- 
ketplace, where acquisition of resources was 
dependent on arguments for the ultimate value 
and status of one’s own discipline. It was a 
great relief recently to hear Bluffton faculty 
members explain to a consultant on our cam- 
pus that the college’s pay equity policy pre- 
vents any faculty member from getting paid 
more simply because of the prestige of his or 
her discipline. Our faculty members also had 



Students on all our campuses are 
gaining practical and theoretical skills 
for the vocations of the 21st century 
in communities of learning infused by 
the call to Christian discipleship. 


U.S. Mennonite 
colleges: 

Bethel College, 
North Newton, Kan. 

Bluffton College, 
Bluffton, Ohio 

Eastern Mennonite 
University, 
Harrisonburg, Va. 

Fresno Pacific 
University, 

Fresno, Calif. 

Goshen College, 
Goshen, Ind. 

Hesston College, 
Hesston, Kan. 

Tabor College, 
Hillsboro, Kan. 


to explain why they were uninterested in using 
an accreditation process to leverage more 
attention and resources from the administra- 
tion. What an exercise in counter-cultural rea- 
soning! 

Mission as priority: I think one of my parents’ 
greatest concerns was that a college education 
would turn me away from the church. That 
concern has been incorporated into the heart 
of Mennonite educational institutions and it is 
a concern that drives every interaction I have 
with students. Unfortunately, because parents 
and churches are often misinformed about 
Mennonite college campuses, our young peo- 
ple often end up at evangelical or secular insti- 
tutions that undermine commitment to the 
church. Such institutions weaken support for 
the church either by urging students to view 
the work of Christ as dispersed throughout the 
larger culture or by replacing the church with 
an academic discipline as the ultimate arbiter 
of truth. 

At Mennonite colleges, universities and 
seminaries, from Fresno to Harrisonburg, I 
have seen faculty and administrators stressing 
the commitment of their institutions to the 
mission of the church. At Bluffton we say, for 
example, that we are preparing students not 
only “for life as well as vocation” but also for 
“the purposes of God’s universal kingdom.” At 
Goshen the motto is “Culture for Service.” At 
Fresno Pacific, this commitment to the church 
has been framed eloquently in a text called the 
“Fresno Pacific Idea,” which stresses the 
prophetic role of the university in standing 
with the church in a critique of the surround- 
ing culture. 

All these mission statements and mottoes 


6 


theMennonite February 2, 1999 


carry with them the original perception of the 
Schleitheim Articles — indeed, of the Sermon 
on the Mount — that following Christ goes 
against the grain of conventional wisdom and 
popular assumption. By making this noncon- 
formist commitment the centerpiece of educa- 
tional philosophy, our colleges are preparing 
students for lives of service to a life-giving and 
hope-sustaining church, whatever their specif- 
ic vocation or calling. 

I am pleased to report that the vision and 
mission statements of our colleges are being 
incarnated in the vibrant and energizing cross- 
currents of campus and classroom life. At 
Goshen, faculty are meeting to plan a confer- 
ence on Mennonites and the family that they 
hope will provide guidance to churches and 
students. Last spring at EMU, pastors and pro- 
fessors met to discuss the relevance of the 
gospel in an era of pluralism. Here at Bluffton 
last summer nearly 200 faculty members, pas- 
tors, church workers and students gathered to 
probe the relationship between Anabaptist 
commitments and postmodern culture. (See 
The Mennonite, Oct. 20, 1998.) 

My Bluffton colleague across the hall, Lisa 
Robeson, is researching how such popular 
medieval literature as stories about King 
Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table 
carry within them the critiques of a war- 
obsessed feudal culture. Biology professor 
Todd Rainey is studying the implications of 
research into social biology for explaining con- 
straints on human ethics. Poet and English 
professor Jeff Gundy is thinking through the 
relationship between the production of litera- 
ture and the character of the church. Religion 
professor Denny Weaver is working at Anabap- 
tist alternatives to mainstream orthodox theol- 
ogy. And students on all our campuses are 
gaining practical and theoretical skills for the 
vocations of the 21st century in communities 
of learning infused by the call to Christian dis- 
cipleship. 

I find myself engaged in frequent discus- 
sions with colleagues at Bluffton and at other 
Mennonite colleges about how we bring the 
way of Christ into our classrooms to challenge 
our understanding and knowledge. Often dur- 
ing those discussions we rejoice at those stu- 
dents and graduates from many different back- 
grounds who mature into Christian disciples, 
finding their way into the service of the 
church by taking up voluntary service and 
missionary assignments or by joining the work 
of a local congregation through confession or 
baptism. In the witness of such students who 
love and serve the church our Mennonite col- 
leges find their reason for existence. 

Gerald Biesecker-Mast is assistant professor of 
communication at Bluffton (Ohio) College. 



transformations 

a tM series 


None of us will 
get out of here 


C an you keep a secret, Mom?” my 5-year- 
old Jonathan said. “Yes.” (Well, I can, al- 
though he will one day learn that secre- 
cy is not one of my strengths, as I am 
now telling many people what he said next.) 

“Sometimes I pray that we’ll all die together 
in seven years. Because if I die first, you’ll be 
too sad, and if you die first, I’ll be too sad. But 
we’ll all be happy together in heaven if we die 
together.” I assumed the “all” meant his dad, 
his older sister, Maria, and myself. I was right. 

I understood the sad part. I felt the same 
way, although I would never admit to praying 
that strongly for someone else’s death. I was 
curious, though, about the seven years. He 
said seven was just a good, long time. 

Time is such a relative concept. How long I 
can or should expect to live is also relative. 

When my cancer was discovered, I was just 
beginning to read through the Bible with the 
fifth-grade Sunday school class I was teaching. 

I was struck again by how long the earliest 
people lived. Methuselah (Genesis 5:27) lived 
the longest — a little under 10 centuries — but 
others lived a long time, too. To live one centu- 
ry today is amazing. Most of us expect and 
want to live to be more than 80. If our bodies 
fall apart before that, we pray for a miracle. 

Faced with my own cancer, I’ve been pon- 
dering the massacres in Joshua and Judges. 
Ten thousand died here. One hundred twenty 
thousand were killed there. Sometimes every 
living thing was taken by the sword. Other 
times the animals or the women and children 
were taken as booty. 

I’ve thought a lot about those women who 
lost their husbands and brothers and children, 
and the children who lost their fathers. That 
was sadder to me than when an entire city was 
taken. I understood why Jonathan was praying 
that we all die together. 

I feel small in the face of those passages. I 
am one tiny life in a long history of people cre- 
ated and loved by God. Beside Methuselah, 

I’m just getting started. Beside many others, 

40 years is already a long life. God doesn’t 
seem to honor a certain age as the right length 
of time for us to be on earth. In different eras, 
different ages have been the norm. 

By the time I got to the New Testament in 


the Bible-read-through, a verse in James 
summed up where I was heading: “What is 
your life? For you are a mist that appears for a 
little while and then vanishes” Games 4:14b). 

To view my life in the procession of those 
who have lived and died before me and who 
will live and die after me has changed my 
thinking. I know I’m an important part of the 
procession — as important as the Old Testa- 
ment victors — but also not any more important 
than any of those nameless women who died 
in Joshua’s many slaughters. I know I’m spe- 
cial to my family and friends, but in the larger 
scheme of history, not any more important 
than all the other mothers who have died of 
cancer and left small children. 

None of us will get out of here alive. Our 
departure times will only differ by a matter of 
years in light of eternity. I think about the fact 
that this could be the last fall I jump in the 
leaves with my children. I’m not planning to 
die this year, but I now know it’s a possibility 
and it doesn’t feel morbid. It’s part of life’s 
promise. 

This has been the change in my thinking. 
On the feeling level, where I most often exist, I 
still want to live long enough to watch my chil- 
dren grow up. If I get that, I’ll probably want to 
watch my grandchildren grow up, too. 

Living, however, after contemplating my 
place in the procession of life and death, has a 
different glow to it. It’s been a reminder to cel- 
ebrate the energy I do have. It’s time, right 
now, to tell my family how much I love them 
and to write in my children’s journals. It’s time 
to share my resources more liberally with 
those who have a need. It’s time to spend 
more on my own stingy self. It’s time to pay 
less attention to conflict in my relationships 
and work more on planting joy. It’s time to re- 
fill all those containers that came to our house, 
piled high with food when I couldn’t cook, and 
deliver them to the next family in need. It’s 
time to have as much fun as possible. It’s time 
to think about how lucky I’ll be when it’s my 
turn to meet the father-in-law I never knew 
here, and share his new home. 

Sandra Drescher-Lehman is an elder at First 
Mennonite Church, Richmond, Va. 


by Sandra Drescher-Lehman 


I'm not planning 
to die this year, 
but I now know 
it's a possibility 
and it doesn't feel 
morbid. It's part 
of life's promise. 


We've asked various peo- 
ple throughout the Men- 
nonite world, What changes 
have you made in your life 
in the last two years 
because of your involve- 
ment with God's Word? 
Their replies appear approx- 
imately every other week in 
The Mennonite in this series 
called Transformations. 

— Editors 


theMennonite February 2, 1999 


7 


news news news 


Group pushes U.S.-Canada partnership 

Merger plan causes concern for Integration Committee 


Committee eyes 
end of the road 

More than three years after 
its inception, the Integration 
Committee has probably 
stopped meeting sooner 
than planned. 

Although the committee 
will not disband until the 
joint convention in St. Louis 
in July, members decided its 
Jan. 22-23 gathering in 
Chicago was its last, barring 
something unforeseen. 

The committee originally 
planned to meet again in 
April to respond to General 
Conference Mennonite 
Church, Mennonite Church 
and Conference of Menno- 
nites in Canada board meet- 
ings, which are normally 
held in March. But the gen- 
eral boards will meet this 
year in April, allowing little 
time for the committee to 
address their concerns 
before materials have to be 
printed for St. Louis 99. 

Committee members also 
noted that much integration 
work has been turned over 
to other bodies, including 
committees on membership 
and country structures. 

Should any further busi- 
ness need to be conducted, it 
can be done via telephone 
conference call or email. 

— Rich Preheim 


CHICAGO — As the Integration Committee 
prepares to pass the integration baton, it is 
calling for the new Mennonite Church in the 
United States and Canada to make sure they 
run the race together. 

Last March’s decision to realign the Gener- 
al Conference Mennonite Church (GC), Men- 
nonite Church (MC) and Conference of Men- 
nonites in Canada (CMC) into two integrated 
country denominations — each one separate 
but having joint ministries with the other — has 
generated concerns that the partnership will 
eventually dissolve. So the Integration Com- 
mittee, meeting Jan. 22-23 in Chicago, passed a 
recommendation that the U.S. and Canadian 
executive committees meet together at least 
once a year to “make decisions and expedite 
partnership agenda.” 

The recommendation will go to the GC, MC 
and CMC general boards in April with hopes 
of eventually finding its way to the delegates at 
this summer’s joint convention in St. Louis. 
‘That would be a nice way to start the new 
denomination,” said Integration Committee 
member Ruth Suter. 

The committee, in probably its last meeting 
before St. Louis 99, noted four partnership areas: 

• worship and fellowship, such as joint 
assemblies and youth conventions; 

• creation and publishing, such as curricu- 
lum, church statements and visual identity; 

• joint programs, such as Associated Men- 
nonite Biblical Seminary, Mennonite Women 
and Mennonite Men; 

• discernment, such as meetings, assem- 
blies and consultations. 

In a related measure, the Integration Com- 
mittee’s executive committee will articulate the 
rationale for the two-country structure. 

The impetus for the Integration Committee’s 
action on partnership grew out of a last-ditch 
measure brought to the meeting by committee 
member Don Steelberg, who has championed 
strong links between the United States and 
Canada. His plan, which was never voted on, 
called for creating a binational level including 
theological and doctrinal leadership, clergy 
credentialing, AMBS oversight and joint con- 
ventions. Without such connections across the 
border, Steelberg said, “The binational church 
is dead; it’s a joint fellowship.” 


But committee member Mary Burkholder 
noted that efforts to create a binational church, 
such as the regional model, have failed. ‘We’re 
committed to [the two-country structure] now,” 
she said. ‘We’ve reached the point of no turn- 
ing back. And that’s why we’re using the part- 
nership language.” 

Said Steelberg, ‘We have talked about part- 
nership, but we haven’t talked about structure 
which carries that forward.” 

“I think we need to put some teeth into it,” 
said committee co-chair Dorothy Nickel 
Friesen, “and Don has put our toes to the fire.” 

Also sparking discussion were anti-racism 
efforts in the new church. The current propos- 
al calls for five of the 20 or 21 spots on the new 
U.S. church’s Executive Board — the church’s 
top board — to be filled by people of color, cho- 
sen by the nominating committee. But current 
MC racial/ethnic groups say they want direct 
representation. The African-American Men- 
nonite Association, Hispanic Mennonite Con- 
vention and United Native Ministries now have 
representatives on the MC General Board. 

Furthermore, unlike the current MC delegate 
assembly, proposals for the new church do not 
provide seats for the racial/ethnic groups. 

‘We had more structures compatible with 
anti-racism than we do now [under plans for 
the new church] ,” said committee member 
Lindsey Robinson, an African-American. 

The committee charged with drawing up 
U.S. church structures has suggested that 
three of the five Executive Board spots for peo- 
ple of color be appointed by the current GC 
and MC racial/ethnic groups — African-Ameri- 
cans, Hispanics and Native Americans — plus 
Asians, who do not have a similar organization. 
A Jan. 26 conference call was scheduled to dis- 
cuss the idea with leaders of these groups. 

In other meeting activity, the Integration 
Commmittee: 

• commended Vision: Healing and Hope as 
the vision statement for the emerging new 
church structures; 

• heard plans to conduct a congregational 
study this fall to help shape the new church; 

• heard a report from and held discussion 
with members from the Integration Education 
Committee about the colleges and seminaries 
in the new church . — Rich Preheim 


theMennonite February 2, 1999 


MCC photo by Frank Albrecht 


Earthquake demolishes Colombian church 


ARMENIA, Colombia — The Mennonite con- 
gregation in the city of Armenia was destroyed 
and a person from a church member’s family 
was buried in rubble following the Jan. 25 
earthquake which rocked western Colombia. 

Gamaliel Falla, a Commission on Overseas 
Mission worker from Cali, 100 miles southwest 
of Armenia, arrived in the city on Jan. 26. He is 
accompanying Antonio Herrera, the Mennonite 
pastor, to visit church members. Mencoldes, 
the Colombian Mennonite development 
agency, is distributing food, water, medicine 


and generators to victims. Mennonite Central 
Committee has committed $50,000 for an 
immediate response in the region. 

The quake, which registered 6 on the Richter 
scale, destroyed 70 percent of the city, including 
the meeting place of the Mennonite Church of 
Armenia. Herrera’s home was one of the few 
buildings left standing. 

The quake killed an estimated 2,000 people 
and injured 15,000. About 180,000 of Armenia’s 
300,000 people have been left homeless . — Rich 
Preheim 



Three displaced children par- 
ticipate in a drama presenta- 
tion at a Bogota shelter run 
by Mencoldes, a Colombian 
Mennonite development 
agency. Nearly 1 million 
Colombians have been dis- 
placed from their rural 
homes due to violence in the 
countryside. 

Finding shelter from storms of violence 


Displaced Colombians get help from Mennonite agency 


BOGOTA, Colombia — Antonio was a coca 
farmer — and has the darkened hands to show 
for it. “This is all farmers get from planting 
coca plants,” he says. “These stains on my 
hands will never come out.” 

But Antonio believes someone wanted his 
land and was willing to resort to violence to get 
it. “Our land is valuable, and there are both 
national and international companies that want 
it,” he says. “They use paramilitary groups to 
threaten us and kill our family members so 
that we will flee and leave everything behind.” 

Today, Antonio and his family live in Bogota, 
like so many other people uprooted by the vio- 
lence in the countryside. They are among the 
nearly 1 million displaced people in Colombia, 
living in shelters throughout the country. Anto- 
nio’s home is a shelter run by Mencoldes, a 
development agency of the General Conference 
Mennonite Church and Mennonite Brethren in 
Colombia. 

Mencoldes also provides advocacy for dis- 
placed families claiming new lands and train- 
ing for people learning new skills. 

While life in a shelter can be hard for adults, 
it can be even more so for children such as 5- 
year-old Paola, who lives in the Mencoldes 


shelter with her parents and five siblings. 

One day shelter director Eunice Garcia 
hugged Paola and asked if she felt ill. “It hurts 
here,” the little girl responded, pointing to her 
heart. From then on, Garcia and the other 
workers gave Paola a little extra attention. She 
began to cry less and became a happier child. 

“Many of these children have already seen 
the ugly face of massacres or heard machine 
guns,” says Martha Santanilla, who helps take 
care of the 26 children at the Mencoldes shelter. 

When the children first arrive, she says, they 
are afraid, crying, acting aggressive or often 
barely speaking. “In their innocent minds, they 
still do not understand why these things hap- 
pen and why they left home,” Santanilla says. 

Because many parents remain emotionally 
scarred by their displacement, they often pay 
little attention to their children. Santanilla helps 
the children to express their feelings through 
dialogue, drawing, dance, games and songs. 
Mencoldes also conducts weekly recreation 
activities out of the shelter, such as craft class- 
es and folk dances. Santanilla says the dance 
presentations to local church groups have 
helped the children feel more secure and out- 
going . — Elizabeth Soto for MCC News Service 


Many of these 
children have 
already seen the 
ugly face of mas- 
sacres or heard 
machine guns. 

— Martha Santanilla 


theMennonite February 2, 1999 


9 


news news news news news news 


Meeting adds up 
for mathematicians 

As they have been doing for 
nearly 30 years, a group of 
Mennonite mathematicians 
gathered Jan. 14 while 
attending the American 
Mathematical Society's 
national meetings. 

The common threads of 
teaching, historical back- 
ground and faith draw the 
participants together for a 
meal, says organizer Jim Hart- 
man, chair of the mathemati- 
cal sciences department at 
the College of Wooster (Ohio). 

"We get together because 
we enjoy fellowship/' he says. 

Those at this year's gath- 
ering, held in San Antonio, 
Texas, came from Mennonite 
schools such as Bluffton 
(Ohio) College and Tabor Col- 
lege, Hillsboro, Kan., but also 
from non-Mennonite institu- 
tions, such as Seattle Pacific 
University and the University 
of Houston-Clear Lake. 


New congregational peace initiative 
calls for churches to go second mile 


EXCELSIOR SPRINGS, Mo.— As armies train 
soldiers to make war, churches that embrace 
Jesus’ nonviolent ethic should train people to 
make peace. 

That’s the push behind a new North Ameri- 
can Mennonite initiative that was officially 
launched Jan. 8-10 at Lake Doniphan Retreat 
Center in Excelsior Springs. “Being a peace 
church is not just a matter of saying we are,” 
says Lois Barrett, executive secretary of the 
Commission on Home Ministries (CHM), one 
of the sponsors for the congregation-based 
peace training process, called Second Mile. 

Over the next two to three years, a five- 
member working group will direct the project, 
including contracting with an editor, gathering 
writers and holding writers’ workshops. Sec- 
ond Mile material will not be available before 
2001, following testing with pilot congrega- 
tions. 

The program first started to take shape in 
the early 1990s, when Barrett and Linda 
Gehman Peachey, then co-director for peace 
and justice ministries for Mennonite Central 
Committee (MCC) U.S., began talking about 
the need for a process similar to Living in 
Faithful Evangelism that would involve entire 
congregations in learning what it means to be 
peacemakers. 

Since an organizational meeting in May 
1997, an inter-Mennonite group has hammered 
out a structure, vision statement and logo as 


well as the name Second Mile, which comes 
from Jesus’ command to love the enemy by 
“going the second mile.” 

“This is a process that congregations will 
follow to determine where they are as far as 
their calling to be peacemakers, where they 
need to grow, what action this is leading to, 
with opportunities for worship built into all 
parts of the process,” says Doug Krehbiel, 
director of peace and justice for the General 
Conference Mennonite Church. 

Organizations participating in Second Mile 
are CHM, Mennonite Church General Board’s 
office for peace and justice, Mennonite Board 
of Congregational Ministries, African-Ameri- 
can Mennonite Association, MCC U.S. and 
MCC Canada. The Church of the Brethren has 
also been invited to join. 

‘This isn’t just a curriculum; it’s a church- 
wide change process,” says Everett Thomas, 
president of Mennonite Board of Congrega- 
tional Ministries. 

Susan Mark Landis, MC minister for peace 
and justice, says, “Diversity and flexibility are 
key.” She notes that flexibility means that con- 
gregations will be able to develop a process 
that suits their individual needs; diversity 
means having as wide a spectrum of people 
involved as possible, including Hispanic, 

Native and African-American. — Melanie 
Zuercher for GCMC, MC General Board, MCC 
and CMC news services 


Canadian war crimes case dismissed 


WATERLOO, Ont. — A judge has thrown out 
the Canadian government’s attempt to 
deport a former Mennonite accused of col- 
laborating with the Nazis in the Ukraine 
during World War II. 

In a Dec. 21, 1998, decision, the judge 
said the government couldn’t prove that 
Johann Dueck was a member of a collabo- 
rating police force in the Ukraine. Even if 
he had been a collaborator, according to the 
decision, immigration officials at the time 
would have had no legal authority to screen 
and exclude him. 

Dueck, born in a Mennonite community 
in Ukraine in 1919 and now living in St. 
Catharines, Ont., immigrated to Canada in 
1948. He maintains that he was forced to be 


a translator for the occupying German army 
during World War II but was not involved in 
other activities. 

Dueck arrived in Canada with the help of 
the Canadian Mennonite Board of Coloniza- 
tion. The Dueck family last year appealed to 
Canadian Mennonites for financial assis- 
tance to help cover his legal fees. The gov- 
ernment began its case against Dueck in 
1995. 

Canadian attempts to prosecute war crim- 
inals has already resulted in the deportation 
of two people, including Mennonite Jacob 
Luitjens of Vancouver. In 1992, he was 
ordered deported to the Netherlands 
where he subsequently served 28 months in 
prison. — Canadian Mennonite 


10 


theMennonite February 2, 1999 


Beliefs bolster St. Paul official's assignment 
to ensure the safety of city employees 


ST. PAUL, Minn. — As a Mennonile, Alberto 
Quintela espouses nonviolence. As an assistant 
to the mayor of St. Paul, he is being called to 
apply that belief to the civic arena for the safe- 
ty of city employees. 

Quintela, one of two North Americans on 
the Mennonite World Conference executive 
committee, is chairing a task force on prevent- 
ing violence in the workplace. Several St. Paul 
city employees have fallen victim recently to 
gunfire, including a city building inspector 
who was killed when he entered a home in 
response to a complaint, and paramedics who 
have been shot while responding to calls. 

“Our front-line employees are often 
harassed and abused,” Quintela says. “Verbal 
harassment happens among colleagues, also.” 

So he and his task force are working on solu- 
tions. “We can’t have everybody read the Mar- 
tyrs Mirror or even participate in Bible studies,” 
Quintela says. Instead, workers will go through 
“de-escalating violence” training over the next 
year. The course will mix practical tips and 
philosophical discussions about when it is jus- 
tifiable to retreat from a violent situation and 
when it is appropriate to confront violence. 

“I bring the concept that there can be a non- 


violent response to violence,” Quintela says. 
“Our human impulse — and, frequently, an 
institution’s impulse — is to meet force with 
greater force. But we have other options. We 
can de-escalate, withdraw and recognize our 
cultural differences in the meanings of touch, 
body language and tone of voice.” 

For example, city staff are considering ways 
to present themselves less confrontationally. 
“Weapons create tension,” Quintela says. “But 
so do other signals. Do our inspectors need to 
wear uniforms? Must our trucks carry the offi- 
cial logo? Do park rangers have to wear badges?” 

One area of training will highlight the many 
cultural communities within the city and the 
different values each places on tone and touch. 

In addition, employees who have been vic- 
tims of violence will receive assistance. “We 
want to help them acknowledge the stages of 
emotion they are likely to experience,” he says. 

“We’re going to try something here,” Quin- 
tela says. “If we save one life, it’s worth it. If 
we drop the level of confrontation and the neg- 
ative language, we’ll have less violence, safer 
employees, a safer city. How do you develop 
peaceful communities?” — Phyllis Pellman Good 
ofMWC News Service 


SOOP posts record numbers in 1998 


ELKHART, Ind. — When Harry and Margaret 
Prough of Middlebury, Ind., retired three 
years ago, they wanted to do more than while 
away their time on rocking chairs. 

“We made up our minds years ago that 
when the time comes to retire, we wanted to 
do some volunteer work somewhere,” Harry 
says. “And we wanted to go somewhere with a 
warmer climate in the winter.” 

The Proughs found the perfect opportunity 
with Service Opportunities for Older People 
(SOOP), run jointly by Mennonite Association 
of Retired Persons (MARP) , Mennonite Board 
of Missions (MBM) and Mennonite Central 
Committee Canada. 

This year the Proughs made their third 
SOOP trip to Carlsbad, N.M., where Harry did 
maintenance work at a Boys and Girls Club, 
and Margaret was a secretary at a clinic. They 
were also active in the local Mennonite con- 
gregation. But the Proughs are hardly alone in 
their desire to serve. In 1998, SOOP had a 
record 132 volunteers — a hefty increase over 
the four volunteers SOOP started with in 1991. 

“We’ve got a success, if success is numbers, 
enjoyment and satisfaction,” says MARP exec- 
utive director Barbara Reber. 


SOOP began after research showed that 
adults over age 50 want to do two things: give 
time to the church and travel. 

“There are a lot of retired or semi-retired 
people in the churches who are financially OK, 
who are still healthy and energetic and who 
want to be put to good use,” says Jorge 
Valleus, MBM’s Short-Term Missions director. 
“They have not just a life experience but pro- 
fessional experience as well. They don’t need 
supervision, and they’re self-motivated.” 

While the supporting agencies do a lot of 
legwork in setting up project sites and doing 
paperwork, SOOP volunteers choose where 
they want to go, how long they want to stay 
and how much they want to work, find their 
own place to stay and pay their own way. 

Most volunteers fall in the 60 to 70 age 
range (although one 85-year-old man still vol- 
unteers) and usually serve for two to three 
months. SOOP operates year-round, with 51 
locations in the United States and 11 in Cana- 
da. But most projects take place in warm cli- 
mates during the winter. Some volunteers 
return to the same location for several years, 
while others go to new places each year. 

— Gary Kauffman for MBM News Service 


I bring the con- 
cept that there 
can be a nonvio- 
lent response to 
violence. 

— Alberto Quintela 


Correction: A list of Menno- 
nite schools and their athlet- 
ic team nicknames omitted 
two Mennonite Secondary 
Education Council members: 
the Menonita Academia Dol- 
phins, San Juan, Puerto Rico, 
and the New Covenant Chris- 
tian School Flames, Lebanon, 
Pa. Another MSEC member, 
Philadelphia Mennonite 
High School, does not play 
interscholastic sports. 


theMennonite February 2, 1999 


11 


newsbriefs newsbriefs 


by the 

way ... 

Western Mennonite School, 
Salem, Ore., has raised an 
average of $1 2,500 per year 
since 1984 through the sale 
of Christmas trees. 

— In Touch 


EMM contributions set record high in 1998 

SALUNGA, Pa. — Contributions to Eastern 
Mennonite Missions were up nearly 3 percent 
in 1998, setting a record of $6.6 million in 
receipts for the year. It was the first time in 
the 1990s that EMM income increased for 
two consecutive years. 

Of the $184,000 gain over 1997, $161,000 
came from a special fund appeal to Lancaster 
Conference congregations for relief efforts 
after Hurricane Mitch ravaged Central Ameri- 
ca last fall. 

“It is so good to experience the faithfulness 
of the people of God,” says EMM president 
Richard Showalter. “We know in the end that 
missions is not dollar driven, but it is right to 
give thanks to the Lord for this .” — EMM 
News Service 

CPT joins protest at military communications site 

CLAM LAKE, Wis. — Eighty people, including 
17 Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) mem- 
bers, gathered Jan. 17 in observance of Mar- 
tin Luther King Jr.’s birthday to protest a 
nuclear submarine communications facility in 
northern Wisconsin. 

The facility, the Extremely Low Frequency 
Project, sends low-frequency signals to nuclear 
submarines stationed deep in oceans around 
the world. After receiving the signals, the sub- 
marines rise to a shallower depth to receive 
firing orders. Evidence indicates the system 
was used in the December 1998 attacks on 
Iraq. 

Nine CPT members were among 16 
demonstrators arrested for trespassing on the 


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site. They are each subject to fines of $181. 

“It’s a sinful thing that we can even think of 
nuclear warfare — and we are so blase about 
it,” says CPT member Claire Evans, who was 
one of the protesters arrested. “I resisted 
arrest here to convey a sense of urgency 
about this situation .” — CPT News Service 

Nicaraguans want connections 

MANAGUA, Nicaragua — Hurricane Mitch has 
made support more important than ever, say 
Nicaraguan Anabaptists. So they have made a 
priority of linking Nicaraguan congregations 
with brothers and sisters in North America. 

Enlace is a program of the Peace and Jus- 
tice Commission, a joint effort of the three 
Mennonite and Brethren in Christ confer- 
ences in the country. Enlace wants to pro- 
mote sharing of resources and also of people 
between Nicaragua and North America. 

“Nicaraguans need words of encourage- 
ment,” says German Garcia. ‘We need to be 
in solidarity with those who are suffering. 

And we need to know that others are present 
with us, even if it’s only through words, 
prayers and letters .” — MCC News Service 

Goshen president receives second term 

GOSHEN, Ind. — Shirley H. Showalter, Goshen 
College president since 1996, has been 
appointed to a second term by Mennonite 
Board of Education (MBE) . 

The reappointment, which begins in July 
and ends in 2003, came following a recom- 
mendation by the Goshen board of overseers. 
A three-person review committee, appointed 
by the board and MBE, noted that Showalter 
is “the right person at the right time for the 
right institution.” 

Mennonite Press garners awards 

NEWTON, Kan. — Mennonite Press of New- 
ton recently won the best of show awards in 
all classes in a competition sponsored by the 
Wichita and Mid-Kansas Clubs of Printing 
House Craftsmen. Mennonite Press received 
best of class in the large press division for a 
travel book and in the small press division for 
presentation envelopes for a design agency. 

Mennonite Press took home 16 other print- 
ing awards, including for With magazine, 
Mennonite Life magazine and a poster and 
brochure for a Robert Shaw program at 
Bethel College. 

The Commission on Education is majority 
owner of Mennonite Press. 


12 


theMennonite February 2, 1999 


ie record for the record for the record 


Events 

Pacific Southwest Confer- 
ence midyear assembly, Feb. 
5-6, Fresno, Calif. 

Congregational Hospitality 
workshop, Feb. 6, Lancaster, 

Pa. Sponsored by New Life Min- 
istries. 

Puerto Rico Conference 
annual meeting, March 11- 
14, Aibonito, P.R. 

Mennonite Health Assem- 
bly, March 25-28, Colorado 
Springs, Colo. 

Giving Project Gathering, 

March 26-27, Iowa City, Iowa. 

Births 

Bass, Annette Jean, Jan. 9, to 
Bob and Deana (Muller) Bass, 
Nampa, Idaho. 

Frustino, Susanna Beth, Dec. 
30, to Daniel and Sally (Shore) 
Frustino, Harleysville, Pa. 
Goossen, Renata Caroline, 
Jan. 7, to Carl and Kristine 
(Claassen) Goossen, Potwin, Kan. 
King, Cassidy Mara, Jan. 11, 
to Nolan and Nori (Bontrager) 
King, Cochranville, Pa. 

Kuper, Curtis John, Jan. 1, to 
Jerred and Tammy (Vangronin- 
gen) Kuper, Palmerston, Ont. 
Michaels, Noah Alexander, 
Jan. 3, to Loren and Tara (Ginge- 
rich) Michaels, Ligonier, Ind. 
Miller, Micah Angel, Dec. 18, 
to Mark and Wendy (Wyse) 

Miller, Archbold, Ohio. 

Naylor, Sarah Kelsea, Dec. 

23, to Michelle (Somers) and 
Steve Naylor, Burlington, Ont. 
Roth, Camryn Troy, Jan. 10, to 
Jerry and Wendy (Troyer) Roth, 
Canby, Ore. 

Showalter, Blake Ross, Dec. 

16, to Angela (McFarland) and 
Matthew Showalter, McPherson, 
Kan. 

Smith, Therin Apollos, Nov. 
22, to Jeff and Kathy Smith, 
Archbold, Ohio. 

Snip, Sadie Elizabeth, Dec. 

17, to Kerri (McKenzie) and Mitch 
Snip, Kitchener, Ont. 

Steffy, Daniel Allan, Jan. 6, to 
Eric and Rebecca (Miller) Steffy, 
LansdaJe, Pa. 


Marriages 

Bontrager/Vice: Joan Bon- 
trager, Hutchinson, Kan., and 
Leroy Vice, Bucklin, Kans. Nov. 28 
at South Hutchinson (Kan.) Men- 
nonite Church. 

Conrad/Rupp: Beth Conrad, 
Indianapolis, and David Rupp, 
Indianapolis, Jan. 2 at Blooming 
Glen (Pa.) Mennonite Church. 
Eaton/Pankratz: Ruth Eaton, 
Fort Collins, Colo., and Josh 
Pankratz, Fort Collins, Dec. 30 at 
Estes Park, Colo. 

Deaths 

Aeschliman, Viola Francis 
Rupp, 86, Phoenix, died Jan. 5. 
Spouse: John Aeschliman 
(deceased). Parents: Frank and 
Lydia Lugbill Rupp (deceased). 
Survivors: children Mona Mann, 
Merlin; six grandchildren; 1 1 
great-grandchildren; three great- 
great-grandchildren. Memorial 
service: Jan. 9 at Sunnyslope 
Mennonite Church, Phoenix. 
Bontrager, Edna Bontrager, 
94, South Hutchinson, Kan., died 
Jan. 12. Spouse: Jerry Bontrager 
(deceased). Parents: Edward and 
Fannie Yoder Bontrager (deceased). 
Survivors: children Ray, Grace 
Hershberger, Lola Faye Erb, Donna 
Mae Martin; 15 grandchildren; 

22 great-grandchildren. Memori- 
al service: Jan. 15 at Yoder Men- 
nonite Church, Haven, Kan. 
Brunk, Margaret Suter, 87, 
Harrisonburg, Va., died Jan. 5. 
Spouse: George Brunk II. Parents: 
Early and Nettie Pearl Blosser 
Suter (deceased). Other sur- 
vivors: children Gerald, George 
111, Paul, Conrad, Barbara Gascho; 
1 1 grandchildren; three step- 
grandchildren; two great-grand- 
children; four step great-grand- 
children. Memorial service: Jan. 8 
at Harrisonburg. 

Ediger, Ben, 87, Inman, Kan., 
died Jan. 6. Spouse: Eleanor Edi- 
ger. Parents: Peter and Katie 
Martens Ediger (deceased). 

Other survivors: children Warren, 
Donovan, Donna Smith; four 
grandchildren; three great- 
grandchildren. Funeral: Jan. 9 at 
Hoffnungsau Mennonite Church, 
Inman. 


Emswiler, Emma Garber, 92, 

Harrisonburg, Va., died Dec. 26 of 
heart failure. Spouse: Ray 
Emswiler (deceased). Parents: 
Benjamin and Ella Snavely Garber 
(deceased). Survivors: children 
David, Frank, Esther Kraybill, 

Irene Good; 10 grandchildren; 11 
great-grandchildren. Funeral: 

Dec. 30 atTrissels Mennonite 
Church, Broadway, Va. 

Epp, Lizzie Mierau, 85, Hen- 
derson, Neb., died Jan. 7. Sur- 
vivors: children Wilbur, Ralph; five 
grandchildren. Funeral: Jan. 7. 
Greaser, Stanley "Quay," 80, 
Souderton, Pa., died Jan. 7. 
Spouse: Martha Allebach Greas- 
er. Parents: Matthew Quay and 
Sarah Grater Greaser (deceased). 
Other survivors: children Thaley, 
Newton; three grandchildren; 
two great-grandchildren. Funer- 
al: Jan. 12 at Souderton. 
Headings, Samuel Glen, 75, 
Albany, Ore., died Dec. 29 of a 
stroke and congestive heart fail- 
ure. Spouse: Barbara Headings. 
Parents: Elmer and Ada Hooley 
Headings (deceased). Other sur- 
vivors: children Milton, Starla 
Beck, Mary Anne Zoss, Glen; 11 
grandchildren; three great- 
grandchildren. Funeral: Jan. 2 at 
Albany (Ore.) Mennonite Church. 
Hershey, Curtis, 27, Harrison- 
burg, Va., died Jan. 4 of injuries 
received in an automobile acci- 
dent. Spouse: Stephanie Moyer 
Hershey. Parents: Cleo and Mary 
Ann Hershey. Memorial service: 
Jan. 8 at Harrisonburg, Va., and 
Jan. 10 at Old Road Mennonite 
Church, Gap, Pa. 

King, Edward, 56, Peoria, III., 
died Jan. 8. Spouse: Gloria Horst 
King. Parents: Floyd (deceased) 
and Naomi Hartzler King. Other 
survivors: children Eric, Bradley, 
Dan, Monica Ruthenberg, Maria 
Hatfield; four grandchildren. 
Funeral: Jan. 12 at Trinity Temple, 
Peoria. 

Miller, Ada Fern Yoder, 93, 

Hesston, Kan., died Jan. 8. 
Spouse: Billie Miller (deceased). 
Parents: Charles and Susanna 
Heatwole Yoder (deceased). Sur- 
vivors: children Alma Kuhns, La- 
Vera Ressler, Chester, B.J., Galen; 
22 grandchildren; 22 great- 
grandchildren. Funeral: Jan. 11 
at Hesston (Kan.) Mennonite 
Church. 


Miller, Lena Fisher, 42, Lan- 
caster, Pa., died Jan. 8 of cancer. 
Spouse: Leon Miller. Parents: 
Elmer and Mary King Fisher. 
Other survivors: children Analies 
Noel, Joel. Funeral: Jan. 13 at 
Mellinger Mennonite Church, 
Lancaster. 

Peters, Aldus, 85, Lancaster, 
Pa., died Dec. 25. Spouse: Nora 
Metzler Peters. Parents: Aldus 
and Emma Chambers Peters 
(deceased). Other survivors: chil- 
dren Robert, Elsie Minnich, Mar- 
tin, Walter, Ray, Roy; 1 1 grand- 
children; seven great-grandchil- 
dren. Funeral: Dec. 28 at New 
Providence (Pa.) Mennonite 
Church. 

Shantz, Rosetta, 96, Cam- 
bridge, Ont., died Dec. 23. Sur- 
vivors: son Paul; two grandchil- 
dren. Funeral: Dec. 26. 


Shoemaker, Vema, 82, Hess 
ton, Kan., died Jan. 8. Spouse: 
Orval Shoemaker (deceased). 
Parents: Alvin and Emma Kauff- 
man Springer (deceased). Sur- 
vivors: daughter Ruby Brown; 
one grandchild. Funeral: Jan. 12 
at Hesston (Kan.) Mennonite 
Church. 

Wiens, Jacob, 77, Hesston, 
Kan., died Jan. 11. Spouse: 
Helene Dyck Wiens. Parents: 
Jacob and Katie Vogt Wiens 
(deceased). Other survivors: 
Donald, Arlen, Robert, Kenneth, 
Donata Gillen, Paul; 14 grand- 
children; two great-grandchil- 
dren. Funeral: Jan. 14 at First 
Mennonite Church, Newton, Kan. 
Witmer, Robert, 40, Lancaster, 
Pa., died Jan. 1. Spouse Sharon 
Burkholder Witmer. Parents: 

Anna May Habecker (deceased) 
and Clyde Witmer. Other sur- 
vivors: children Jenna, Heather, 
Deron, Mitchell. Funeral: Jan. 5 
at Willow Street (Pa.) Mennonite 
Church. 




theMennonite 


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13 


classifieds 


• Amigo Centre has an immediate opening for a housekeeper This is 
a full-time salaried position with benefits. Please contact Dana Sommers at 
616-651-2811, Dana@amigocentre.org or write to Amigo Centre, 26455 
Banker Road, Sturgis, Ml 49091. 

• Opportunities for service! Eastern Mennonite Missions has 

opportunities for people from youth to retirees to serve overseas in min- 
istries that include teaching, leadership development, church planting and 
community development, for one or more years. A few of our current needs 
include leadership development among the Maasai in Kenya, and teachers 
for missionary children in Asia. 

If God is nudging you to find out more, please call Mark Emerson or 
Ruth Durborow at 717-898-2251. 

• The International Guest House, Washington, D.C., a mission proj- 
ect of the Allegheny Mennonite Conference, has an immediate opening for a 
one-year voluntary service assignment. Responsibilities include the 
usual tasks for operating a bed and breakfast facility, with the added dimen- 
sion of relating to international guests in a Christian, homelike setting. 
Cross-cultural experience desirable. 

Contact International Guest House, 1441 Kennedy St. NW, Washington, 
DC 2001 1; 202-726-5808; fax 202-882-2228; email IGH-DC@juno.com. 

• Menno Haven Inc. seeks a vice president of finance fora Menno- 
nite church-related retirement community serving 1,000 residents. Individ- 
ual will oversee all financial aspects of the organization. Candidate must be 
able to support our mission, corporate values, vision and Anabaptist princi- 
ples. Bachelor's degree in business administration or accounting and at least 
five years of related health-care financial management experience preferred. 
CPA or MBA a plus. 

Qualified candidates should send resume, references and salary require- 
ments to Chris Bumbaugh, Director of Human Resources, Menno Haven Inc., 
1427 Philadelphia Ave., Chambersburg, PA 17201; 717-262-1000; fax 717- 
261-0860. 

• Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community, Harrisonburg, Va., 
seeks wellness center director to open new wellness center in spring of 
2000, and expand existing wellness program for VMRC residents, staff and 
community seniors. Candidate must have minimum of bachelor's degree, 
appropriate certifications and experience directing a wellness-fitness pro- 
gram for older adults and employees. Successful candidate will have strong 
marketing and research skills, ability to direct center operations, build net- 
works and facilitate teamwork. 

Qualified candidates submit one-page letter describing wellness philos- 
ophy, resume and salary history to Director of Human Resources, 1501 Vir- 
ginia Ave., Harrisonburg, VA 22802; fax 540-564-3700; email hr@vmrc.org; 
website www.vmrc.org. 

• Fresno Pacific University seeks a qualified faculty member to teach 
in the Contemporary Christian Ministries (CCM) program, with the pos- 
sibility of providing future direction for the program. Teaching in both CCM 
and biblical and religious studies programs. Mentoring and advising stu- 
dents in the CCM major. Beginning Aug. 15, 1999. Master's degree in appro- 
priate field, with commitment to pursue a terminal degree such as a D. Min. 
or Ph.D. Fresno Pacific University is a dynamic Christian liberal arts college of 
the Mennonite Brethren Church. All candidates for faculty positions must 
share the college's Christian commitment. 

For full description and application form, write or phone Dr. Howard J. 
Loewen, provost, Fresno Pacific University, 1717 S. Chestnut, Fresno, CA 
93702; 559-453-2023. Women and members of minority groups are espe- 
cially encouraged to apply. Applications will be evaluated beginning March 
1, 1999, and appointment will be made as soon thereafter as a suitable can- 
didate is secured. 

• Landis Homes is seeking a director of dining service. Exciting 
opportunity for an experienced food service professional to lead our team at 
Landis Homes, a progressive retirement community in Lititz, Pa. Must have 
strong team building and communication skills. Health-care experience 
needed. We offer a great work environment and full benefits. 

For immediate consideration, send resume to Culinary Service Network 
Inc., 1730 Walton Road Suite 100, Blue Bell, PA 19422; fax 610-828-2328. 
EOE 


• Bluffton College is seeking a campus ministries intern for the 

1 999-2000 academic year to work closely with the campus pastor in most 
areas of ministry on the Bluffton College campus. This position is intended 
for college graduates and/or seminary students seeking practical ministry 
experience in the campus setting. Arrangements could be made for obtain- 
ing internship credit. Consideration of applications will begin March 31, 
1999, and continue until the position is filled. 

Please submit a letter of interest and resume to Randy Keeler, campus 
pastor, Bluffton College, 280 W. College Ave., Bluffton, OH 45817-1196. For 
additional information, see http://www.bluffton.edu. Members of under- 
represented groups are encouraged to apply. EOE 


Classified advertising 
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theMennonite February 2, 1999 


rid 


k 


by Rich Preheim 
Tormented in the flame 

Three Church of the Brethren congregations, 
whose meeting places were either destroyed 
or heavily damaged by fires last year, have yet 
one more commonality: They were underinsured. 

After a March fire roared through its sanc- 
tuary and did lesser damage to other parts of 
the building, First Church of the Brethren in 
Batavia, 111., discovered that the structure was 
insured only for the depreciated value, not its 
replacement cost. 

Pike Run Church of the Brethren in Somer- 
set, Pa., destroyed by a January arson fire, was 
also not insured enough to erect a new build- 
ing. Manchester Church of the Brethren, North 
Manchester, Ind., had enough insurance to 
replace the building it lost in a January fire. 

But the congregation still needs to pay for 
items to put in the new church. 

“We were underinsured in our contents,” 
North Manchester pastor Susan Stern Boyer 
tells Messenger, the denominational publication. 
“We wish we had done a better job on that. We 
lost our entire library.” 

But like enough gray clouds of smoke, 
there are silver linings. For example, when 
Pike Run wanted to make donations to each of 
the eight volunteer fire departments that 
responded to the blaze, the insurance compa- 
ny agreed to reimburse the church, even 
though that was not included in the policy. 

Doing the right thing 

Despite the legal risks, the United Church of 
Canada has formally apologized to indigenous 
Canadians — called First Nation peoples — for 
the denomination’s complicity in physical, sex- 
ual and mental abuse inflicted at the church’s 
Indian Residential Schools. 

The move could have crippling results as 
the United Church of Canada faces claims 
from more than 100 former students. But the 
reason for the apology is simple, says The 
Observer, the denomination’s magazine: Church 
leaders believed it was the right thing to do. 
‘To feel repentance and take no action achieves 
nothing,” says executive committee member 
Phyllis Smyth. 

The church has since instructed its lawyers 
in one case to focus on settlement negotiations. 

In making the apology, moderator Bill Phipps 
said: “We are aware of some of the damage 
that this cruel and ill-conceived system of 
assimilation has perpetrated on Canada’s First 
Nation peoples. For this we are truly and most 
humbly sorry.” 


Empty cradle syndrome 

In the very region where Christianity was 
born, the religion is becoming an endangered 
species, reports Context, offering a litany of 
supporting numbers: 

Christians make up an estimated 2 percent 
to 4 percent of the populations of Jordan, Iraq, 
the West Bank and Gaza, and 10 percent of 
Syria. Lebanon, at one time the only country in 
the Middle East with more Christians than 
Muslims, is now only 30 percent to 40 percent 
Christian. East Jerusalem, nearly 50 percent 
Christian 40 years ago, is now less than 5 per- 
cent. The number of Jordanians professing 
Christianity has dropped by half since 1967, 
and in Iraq, that number has dropped from 
750,000 to 500,000 in the last nine years. A Syri- 
an Orthodox monastery in northern Iraq 
which once housed 7,000 monks now has two. 

The reason for the decline in numbers is not 
persecution by the increasing Muslim majority. 
In fact, according to Context, Christians are 
generally treated well in the region. But Chris- 
tians more and more say they cannot financial- 
ly afford to stay and look to emigrate whenever 
possible. 

From top to bottom 

The 20-foot cross atop the bell tower of St. 

Paul Lutheran Church in Arlington, Va., isn’t 
just a traditional Christian symbol. It is also a 
source of income, raising $45,000 a year for 
missions, reports The Lutheran. Cellular 
phone antennas are concealed in the cross. 
Desperate for higher ground of a nonspiritual 
sort, phone companies are increasingly look- 
ing to churches for sites — and are willing to 
pay big money for them. St. Paul uses the 
money for new church programs, charity and 
outreach. 

Meanwhile, Zion Lutheran Church in Harris- 
burg, Pa., has plumbed the depths of church 
life. The congregation recently dismantled a 
Cold War-era fallout shelter in the church 
basement. The space will be used for storage. 

Blasts from the past 

The Council of Evangelical Churches of Nica- 
ragua (CEPAD) has been one of many organi- 
zations responding to the devastation left by 
Hurricane Mitch last fall. But in addition to the 
usual problems is a new one, says CEPAD 
Report Flooding has left the Nicaraguan Army 
unable to verify the locations of 76,000 land 
mines planted during the country’s civil war in 
the 1980s. 


theMennonite February 2, 1999 


Tidbits 

• Lambeth, the internation- 
al Anglican conference 
held every 10 years, last 
year called on dioceses to 
give 0.7 percent of their 
income to international 
development programs. 
— The Witness 

• The funeral for James 
Dean, the 1950s movie 
star and cultural icon, was 
held in a Quaker meeting- 
house in Fairmount, Ind. 
— Quaker Life 

• Of the 75,129 Catholic 
nuns in the United States, 
36,651 are more than 70 
years old. Only 623 are 
between the ages of 25 
and 50 . — National 
Catholic Reporter 

• Since 1992, 228 Hispanic 
United Methodist congre- 
gations have been started 
in the United States. 

— Christian Century 


15 


orial editorial editorial editorial 



***********************q^r-rj S0RT**C-023 
<16842> 34 

.400203 5 1 C * 53 

LIBRARY 

ASSOC MENN BIBLICAL SEM 
3003 BENHAM AVE 
ELKHART IN 46517-1999 


I. I. 


nil. 


What they teach at our Mennonite schools 


J. Lome Peachey 


If anyone is biased in favor of Mennonite edu- 
cation, it has to be me: Grades 1-12 at Belle- 
ville (Pa.) Mennonite School; a bachelor’s 
degree from Eastern Mennonite College (now 
University), Harrisonburg, Va.; a year of taking 
courses for fun — no degree or diploma — at 
Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminaries 
(now Seminary), Elkhart, Ind. 

So what do I remember from these hours in 
Mennonite classrooms? Not much, I must con- 
fess. Oh, occasionally I go back to my gram- 
mar textbook to bolster my side of the argu- 
ment when the staff of this publication can’t 
agree on where to put a comma or which word 
to use. But most of the details of my Menno- 
nite education have long since been forgotten. 

What I haven’t forgotten are the people. 
Those who taught me. And those who lived 
their Christian lives day by day in front of me. 

There was Alphie Zook, the principal who 
met me in the hall when I was trying to decide 
if I could add Spanish to an already crowded 
junior high schedule. “Of course, you can do 
it!” Alphie said — words I still remember when 
confronted with the impossible. 


At Mennonite schools, faculty expertise and skills also 
blend with concerns for spiritual well-being, all in the con- 
text of values Anabaptist-Mennonites believe important. 

There was Laura Weaver, the high school 
teacher who opened up the world of literature 
and grammar for me. She also was the one 
who convinced me I could write. 

At college, Ruth Breckbill taught me a love 
for words — and to be precise when I use them. 
Irvin B. Horst liked a book review I wrote well 
enough to suggest to the student newspaper 
editor that I might be an addition to the staff. 
That’s how I got my first taste of journalism. 

The next year, Ellrose Zook, on leave as 
executive editor for the Mennonite Church, 
was my faculty adviser when I edited the EMC 
Weathervane. From Ellrose I got the vision for 
using writing and editing for the church. 

And I remember my profs from seminary: 
Jacob Enz and Millard Lind, who taught me 
how to read the Old Testament; Howard 


Charles, who did the same for the New; and 
John H. Yoder, who pushed me to think harder 
than I had ever thought before — and from that 
prodding came the only book I’ve ever written. 

All these — and many other professors — 
were interested in more than passing on facts 
or discussing ideas. They wanted me to grow 
as a person, particularly as a person in rela- 
tionship with Jesus Christ. They may not have 
been quite as formal about it as Gerald 
Biesecker-Mast writes about Bluffton (Ohio) 
College, where faculty and staff regularly dis- 
cuss the spiritual and intellectual development 
of their students (see page 4) . But I always 
had before me models for how to be a disciple 
of Jesus Christ. And mentors for how to put 
my faith into practice in my daily life. 

That does not mean these people were per- 
fect; our schools are not run by saints. In my 
17 years of Mennonite education, I also came 
across examples of how not to live. Happily, 
that list is shorter — and will remain private. 

Of course, there is concern about individual 
development and helpful faculty-student inter- 
action at other schools, even those that aren’t 
built around Christian values. I’ll always trea- 
sure what I learned from Roland Wolseley 
about writing and from Robert Root about edit- 
ing during my graduate education at Syracuse 
(N.Y.) University. But at Mennonite schools, 
faculty expertise and skills are also blended 
with concerns for spiritual well-being. 

On Sunday, Feb. 7, the General Conference 
Mennonite Church and the Mennonite Church 
observe Church School Day. Likely there will 
be comparisons of Mennonite education with 
that available from other schools. There may 
also be arguments about whether Mennonite 
schools help or hinder students in their faith, 
such as those that sent Gerald Biesecker-Mast 
to a non-Mennonite college. 

But we would observe Church School Day 
better by reflecting on what it is our Menno- 
nite schools do best. For me, they provided 
models that helped me find my way in the 
church and in the world. These mentors 
believed, understood and practiced Christian 
values that we Anabaptist-Mennonites believe 
important. That is what they teach well at our 
Mennonite schools . — jlp 


16 


theMennonite February 2, 1999 



lennonite integration 


6 Facing up to our differences 

1 0 Toward greater global mission partnership 

1 1 Longtime educator has her Jubilee 

1 9 Reconsider the two-country structure 






tders say readers say readers say 


This publication welcomes 
your letters, either about our 
content or about issues fac- 
ing the Mennonite church. 
Please keep your letters 
brief — two or three para- 
graphs — and about one 
subject only. We reserve the 
right to edit for length and 
clarity. Publication is also 
subject to space limitations. 
Send your letters to Readers 
Say, The Mennonite, P.0. Box 
347, Newton, KS 67114. Or 
you can email us at: 
theMennonite@gcmc.org. 
Please include your name 
and address. We will not 
print letters sent anony- 
mously, though we may 
withhold names at our dis- 
cretion . — Editors 


2 


Homosexuality and the church 

Thanks for the breadth of articles related to 
lesbians and gays in Mennonite churches Qan. 
19 and Jan. 26). I have difficulty with John D. 
Roth’s Jan. 26 article, “Clarity, Charity and 
Compassion,” in two primary ways. First, I 
believe the church, regardless of denomina- 
tion or theological persuasion, historically has 
appealed to and utilized Scripture, tradition, 
experience and reason in discerning the will of 
God for any given time and place. This is the 
faith in which I was nurtured within the 
Anabaptist-Mennonite community. I am puz- 
zled why Roth treats the role of experience in 
spiritual discernment as if it is some individual 
or privatized thing. The homosexuality issue 
presents itself before the church as a phenom- 
enon of human experience, not the personal 
whims of isolated people. 

Second, I disagree with Roth’s assertion 
that “sexual rights” is used as “authority” by 
those who welcome gays into the church. This 
is a justice issue, to be sure. But as a justice 
issue, it is an extension of the role of human 
experience, not a separate “authority.” When 
people are denied their full place within the 
faith community, it is not surprising that mis- 
conceptions occur. The basic reason experience 
is such a critical need within the church’s strug- 
gle in these days is that it is the only way in 
which the justice issues will get addressed. 

I long for the day when people, regardless 
of sexual orientation, are not only permitted 
but invited to write articles in our church pub- 
lications about faith issues in which they have 
a personal stake. I am more hopeful today 
because I believe strongly in what J. Lome 
Peachey wrote in his Jan. 26 editorial, “The 
Spirit continues to call us to unity.” May God 
bless the Mennonite churches. — Richard J. 
Lichty, Hatfield, Pa. 

Thanks to John D. Roth for a thoughtful weigh- 
ing of authorities important for the church’s 
discernment on homosexuality Qan. 19 and 
Jan. 26). But by focusing on the potential nega- 
tives in his comments on personal experience, 
he unduly diminishes an important element of 
discernment as modeled in the New Testa- 
ment. While I am sure that Scripture, tradition 
and context were all part of the Jerusalem 
Conference debate of Acts 15:7, what was most 
decisive was hearing from Peter, Paul and 
Barnabas how they saw the Holy Spirit work- 
ing in the lives of Gentile believers. In our cur- 
rent Mennonite debates, where are we listen- 

theMennonite February 9, 1999 


ing for the stories of how the Spirit is at work 
in the lives of the gays and lesbians among 
us? — Sally Weaver Glick, Goshen, Ind. 

While I read with interest John D. Roth’s argu- 
ment in support of the church position regard- 
ing homosexuality, I do find his appeals to 
Scripture and Christian tradition rather weak. 
The case made against Galileo, who dared to 
offer a radical view of the order of the universe, 
was well-supported by Scripture and Christian 
tradition. The same could be said for slavery in 
the 19th century. 

While I concede that analytical, researched 
and ostensibly noninflammatory rhetoric such 
as Roth puts forth in his article is inevitable in 
any debate over homosexuality, I don’t think it 
will ultimately prove useful. We all come to 
these debates with a gut reaction to the issue, 
an emotional opinion. Homosexuality either 
seems wrong to us or it doesn’t. Let us not be 
deceived. Thoughtful, reasoned arguments 
won’t change any views. They are constructed 
to support a position. For those who agree 
with Roth, his article will offer further support 
and affirmation for their feelings about lesbian 
and gay Christians. For those who disagree, 
and certainly for lesbian and gay Mennonites, 
his words are indeed inflammatory and divisive. 
— Paul J. Helmuth Jr., Northampton, Mass. 

Without entering into polemics on who is and 
who isn’t outside the church, I need to question 
the conclusion of Weldon Nisly regarding the 
larger perspective when he states, “[The 
church] dares to hear Peter proclaim, ‘God has 
clearly shown me that no one should be con- 
sidered unclean or an outsider’ ” (“Homosexu- 
ality and the Healing of the Church,” Jan. 19). 

Jesus is clear on the subject in Revelation 
22:15 when he said, “Outside are the dogs, 
those who practice magic arts, the sexually 
immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and 
everyone who loves and practices falsehood.” 

It is clear that an inside and an outside exist. 
May God grant us grace to align ourselves with 
this revealed perspective of the Lord of the 
church and to seek his help in discerning the 
difference. — Joel H. Hackman, Telford, Pa. 

I can imagine the fear and trembling in every 
aspect of the Jan. 19 issue. I can imagine the 
criticisms you will have already received. But I 
credit your bravery and trust in a church that 
is continuing to work out its salvation. Thank 
you for both John Roth’s reasoned and gentle 
exposition and for Weldon Nisly’s challenge to 


theMennonite 

Vol. 2, No. 6, February 9, 1999 



16 


features 

Facing up to our differences 

Unity comes only by accepting diversity as part of God’s intention 

Eager to become more 

Integration can grow into energy that will only multiply 

Integration that is theologically and missionally correct 

The new church must be committed to cross-cultural ministries 

departments 


News 

Pursuing partnerships • director’s Jubilee • London calling 

15 Newsbriefs 

16 For the record 
19 Speaking out 

Is it too late to reconsider the two-country structure? 

Editorial 

Past and present demonstrate hope for future leadership 


Editor: J. Lome Peachey 
Associate editors 
Feature: Gordon Houser 
News: Rich Preheim 
Marketing: Marla J. Cole 
Advertising: Melanie Mueller 
Secretary: Dotty Anderson 
Design consultant: 

Judith Rempel Smucker 


Offices: 

616 Walnut Ave. 

Scottdale, PA 15683 
theMennonite@mph.org 

722 Main St., P.O.Box 347 
Newton, KS 671 14 
theMennonite@gcmc.org 

Phone 1-800-790-2498 


theMennonite 

Incorporating Gospel Herald (1908-1998) and TheMennonite (1885-1998) 

TheMennonite seeks to serve the U.S. context of the integrating General Conference Mennonite Church and Mennonite 
Church by helping readers glorify God, grow in faith and become agents of healing and hope in the world. The Mennonite 
(ISSN 1 522-7766) is published weekly on Tuesdays — except for March 30, June 29, Aug. 3 and Nov. 30 in 1 999 — by the 
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readers say 

get unstuck. I pray that their thoughts and our 
responses might lead us forward toward the 
grace and power of God’s salvation. — Wayne 
Speigle, Richmond, Va. 

I am very troubled by what The Mennonite is 
doing with the homosexuality question. The 
Jan. 19 issue is an example of once again polar- 
izing people. You will undoubtedly be flooded 
with letters to the editor, expressing pro and con 
reactions to the articles. I beg you not to print 
them. Dialogue does not happen in a paper 
with people boldly expressing their views from 
a distance. Dialogue happens when people 
meet people, when the approach is not from 
“white knuckles and high blood pressure” to 
quote John D. Roth (“Binding and Loosing,” 
Jan. 19) but from heart and soul. I am incredi- 
bly disappointed that The Mennonite continues 
to see itself as a vehicle for debate on the issue. 


Could you be bold enough as editor to close Cover photo 
the debate, to stop printing letters and write an by Marilyn Nolt 
editorial encouraging dialogue, discussion, 
conversation at the local level instead? Contin- 
ue to print articles by our leading church the- 
ologians, but suggest that they be used as a 
springboard for dialogue in Christian education 
classes, small groups, etc., along with other 
resources such as the video Body of Consent 
and the book From Wounded Hearts. Dialogue 
— this is what we say we will do in our church 
sexuality statement — must have eye-to-eye 
contact for any real discerning of the Spirit to 
happen. — Gwen Peachey, Ephrata, Pa. 

We are requesting you take our name off the 
mailing list for The Mennonite. We no longer 
want to receive this publication in our home. 

The repeated articles on homosexuality are 
repulsive and sick. Frankly, we are embar- 
rassed to be associated with this magazine. 

— Dale and Marj Martin, Greentown Ind. 


theMennonite February 9, 1999 


3 


MCC photo by Mark Beach 


ders say readers say readers say 



The heart of our 
"Mennonite-ness" 
...is our belief 
that the kingdom 
of God is here. 

— Joan L. Hockman 
“The Kingdom of God 
Is Here,” Jan. 5 


The war continues 

I am disappointed in the lack of attention given 
in The Mennonite to our genocide of the Iraqi 
people. People look to The Mennonite for infor- 
mation and guidance about issues that concern 
our spiritual growth and our lives as followers 
of Christ. Our country’s hate toward our broth- 
ers and sisters in Iraq is such an issue. 

We declared war against the people of Iraq 
in 1991, and that war continues eight years 
later through sanctions and our most recent 
attacks. As citizens of this country, we have on 
our hands the blood of more than 1.5 million 
Iraqis who have died as a result of sanctions 
and bombings since 1991. If there is any other 
event that tests us as Christians and pacifists, 
it is the killing that is carried out in our names. 

This is a request for guidance through our 
Mennonite publication but also a challenge for 
us all to resist. I hope that as people who pride 
themselves on nonviolence, we can publicly 
speak out against this genocide and allow the 
teachings of Jesus to get us into a lot of trou- 
ble. — Andy Peifer, Hartford, Conn. 

Core of Mennonite identity 

As we approach integration, we are all seeking 
to identify more clearly what the central force 
is which pulls us together as a connected com- 
munity. Joan L. Hockman does that beautifully 
in just two pages (‘The Kingdom of God Is 
Here,” Jan. 5). Rather than continued bickering 
over boundary issues, let’s focus on the core 
identity of the church we are re-creating. Of 
course it includes our belief in the Bible. But 
its many passages are subject to wide interpre- 
tation. The Confession of Faith in a Mennonite 
Perspective concisely describes what we 
believe as an Anabaptist church. But for pur- 
poses of condensing it into a form which could 
be used as a brochure to communicate with 
the world what it is which we believe makes 
Mennonites special, Hockman’s short piece 
does it well. Let us hold up the values of love, 
service, global awareness, peace and justice, 
and community as the core identity which 
brings us together. — Jim Rugh, Atlanta 

Gleaning and begging 

“Building Up the Campuses” (Nov. 10, 1998) 
stirred many conflicting thoughts and feelings 
within me. My partner, Vera, and I are charged 
with the task of helping the 133,000 people of 
Ethiopia’s Meserete Kristos Church, a poor 
sister to the rich American Mennonites, to 
build up their first campus. 


This whole denomination does not know the 
benefit of having even one complete elementary 
or secondary school. When the church decided 
to open its first college to provide some basic 
training on the tertiary level for its evangelists 
and pastors, it could barely scrape together 
enough funds to rent a simple compound in a 
rundown section of town. Students during the 
first year didn’t even have beds to sleep on. 
The smells of a dysfunctional sewer permeated 
the sleeping quarters. Now they have beds 
and the sewer has been repaired, but these 
men of God are still sleeping 20 to a room. 

Vera and I spent three months last summer 
contacting people in the United States and 
Canada to raise funds for the college. Our goal 
was $900,000. We found ourselves gleaning the 
droppings where the giants with their profes- 
sional teams of development officers had already 
harvested the big bucks. We were intimidated 
by the mega projects in progress: $4 million 
church sanctuaries, $27 million retirement 
complexes, a $22 million university commons 
on the campus that once challenged us with 
the Anabaptist-Mennonite vision of Christian 
stewardship, an $8 million sports complex for 
one of our 16 over-endowed and over-furbished 
Mennonite high schools. 

Some have suggested it would be a first step 
toward rectifying the growing imbalance 
between rich and poor Christians if First-World 
congregations and church institutions would 
give 10 percent of their building fund-raising 
harvest to their sister churches in the Third 
World. Even 1 percent of what was mentioned 
in the article would put up a very fine campus 
in Ethiopia, a goal our “begging” failed to 
reach. — Carl E. Hansen, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 

Caravanning with Abraham and Sarah 

“Abraham and Sarah’s Spiritual Descendants 
Still Multiplying as Church Planting Nears 
Goal” Qan. 5) reminded me of the unforget- 
table experience when our Abraham and Sarah 
Caravan of she spent a week serving at Joy 
Mennonite Church in Oklahoma City in 1994. 
We worked in the neighborhood doing paint- 
ing, shingling, maintenance jobs and visitation. 
We also conducted a family craft and activity 
day and sorted clothes at the city’s Rest Home- 
less Day Center. On Sunday we were in charge 
of the morning worship and welcomed some of 
those for whom we had painted, shingled and 
visited. Since then, receiving the Joy Menno- 
nite newsletter each month reminds us of our 
mission. — Elda Bachman, North Newton, Kan. 


4 


theMennonite February 9, 1999 



theMennonite February 9, 1999 


Debra Gingerich lives in Lancaster, Pa. 


by Debra Gingerich 


Mennomtes know something 
about beauty. There may be 
no hand-carved crucifix, no 
gold-dipped Jesus, no colored 
glass that pulls the sun in 
to shine opaque designs 
on carved cherry pews. 

My uncle sings high and 
visible in tenor, with his head 
cocked slightly to the right, 
as if the sound is coming to him 
from above. And I learned young 
that I would never match my mother's 
soprano, how it curved about 
the voices in our country 
fellowship, too small to be called 
a church. I accepted alto and 
listened for the sounds of 
other women drifting below 
the melody, like shadowing 
on a pencil sketch. No one had 
to tell me that God somehow 
can hear, that he loves four- 
part harmony — voices never 
could fit together like that 
otherwise. And when the octet 
serenades those who sit 
through weddings and funerals 
on the straight birch benches 
of Lowville Mennonite Church, 
just the way their parents 
sang, just like the congregation 
on Sunday morning, their voices 
sweep like paint brushes along 
the white-washed walls, with more 
color than eyes could ever see. 

And we should have known 
that folks who once all wore that 
same cut dress, the same plain 
coat couldn't also sing in unison. 
Somehow I had to be told that 
we are not all made alike. 




to our 


qjj gniofil 

differences 



by Jim Schrag 


W e have failed to cast the call of God 
to us in the right tones. We have 
worried more about structures than 
about Christ’s people and their mis- 
sion housed in those structures. 

Our integration process has not been per- 
fect, yet it has been used by God. Neverthe- 
less, our process has been miscast and mis- 
named. Integration presupposed greater simi- 
larities than existed, presupposed that the best 
of each group could somehow be combined. 
We have learned painfully how inadequate this 
approach has become. It required us to trot 
out the best of our traditions, then wonder why 
we could not go further when the best did not 
fit together and we were unable to make choic- 


Unity cannot be achieved by glossing over differences. 
Unity comes only by accepting differences as a part of 
God's intention. Such notions are not the way of the world 
but the essence of the body language and imagery of the 
New Testament. 


es between each other’s finest. Thus competi- 
tion, not cooperation, has been built into what 
we have been attempting to do in integration. 

Likewise we have developed our affections 
for one another at different paces. Trust is not 
built in long-distance relationships or in 
unequal commitments. We still suffer from 
lack of knowledge of each other. What we 
know of each other often still smacks of carica- 
ture and conjecture. 

We have tried to avoid it, but realignment 
must now be faced in new ways. Now we must 
seriously consider the issues that divide us, 


that want to place us in new, separate groups. 

In our stress on unity we have overempha- 
sized our similarities. We must now clearly and 
courageously gaze upon what I call the specter 
of new division (realignment) and ask if this is 
what God desires for us. Until we do that, we 
will only continue to flirt with, not embrace, 
true newness in the church. Without examin- 
ing these more negative alternatives, unity will 
continue to elude us. It will not be an easy dis- 
cussion. 

Most of this admonition comes from having 
looked at the membership question, which for 
many cannot seem to unhitch itself from 
weighty issues of sexuality and morality. In 
this connection, and with the addition of differ- 
ing views of the proper pace of the integration 
process, I have found myself trying to hold 
hope together with realism, and integrity with 
accuracy, so that the right and left hand can 
work together. 

We are one body with many members 
(1 Corinthians 12:12). Unity cannot be 
achieved by glossing over differences. Unity 
comes only by accepting differences as a part 
of God’s intention. Such notions are not the 
way of the world but the essence of the body 
language and imagery of the New Testament. 
The polity of embracing differences is a faith- 
ful polity when enacted in the name of Christ. 

I am hoping for a revival. I hope there is 
confession and new beginnings. There needs 
to be a new dependency on God for our direc- 
tion, not on our own wisdom or on our imper- 
fect traditions. 

Jim Schrag is General Conference Mennonite 
Church general secretary and U.S. integration 
team leader. This article is excerpted from a 
presentation he made to the GCMC General 
Board in November 1998. 


6 


theMennonite February 9, 1999 


Eager to become 


Ho, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters ; 
and you that have no money, come, buy and 
eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money 
and without price. ... For you shall go out in 
joy, and be led back in peace ; the mountains 
and the hills before you shall burst into song, 
and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. 
—Isaiah 55:1,12 

I saiah 55 communicates like a global 
Psalm. It is a hymn celebrating the good 
life offered by God. Isaiah is amazed that 
people run in the rat race of money and 
hard work — but there is so little satisfaction 
and so much emptiness. 

Isaiah speaks of places where water is a 
rare commodity and its sale in the streets a big 
deal. Yet there is universal access. What does 
this mean today, when the wealth of the 
world’s richest 150 people equals that of the 
world’s poorest 3 billion? 

Isaiah speaks to Israel in Babylon, whose 
people are resigned to captivity with souls run 
dry. Isaiah says: Folks, you don’t have to settle 
for emptiness, yearning, anxiety and depres- 
sion. God is eager to fill your deepest longings. 

As I work on a university campus and serve 
in churches, I sense a malaise. We have stress- 
es with our youth, strains in our families and 
apprehension in our churches. But God’s 
amazing grace, says the apostle Paul, is suffi- 
cient in our times of greatest need. Isaiah 
agrees. 

As God’s grace penetrates our lives, it 
makes us eager to become more. It connects 
us with the “that of God” residing in all people 
and in all situations. 

We know God’s Spirit wants to lead us into 
spiritual encounters we have not yet had. Our 
people told us they want to integrate — and the 
votes were not by narrow margins. But it has 
been a painful time since the vote at Wichita 
’95, at Winnipeg ’97 and Orlando ’97 (together 
with parallel affirmations by the Conference of 
Mennonites in Canada). Each of our systems 
is solid and rational. And God’s Spirit has used 
these well. We keep trying to build common 
systems that can serve Mennonite Church 
U.S. and Mennonite Church Canada. 

Can the malaise about integration in the 


hearts of many of our people be addressed by Bernie Wiebe 

even now? Isaiah hinted at two measuring cri- 
teria for us today: Are we eager to become 
more than builders of institutions and organi- 
zations like we had before? Are we willing to 
become more than beggars for budgets? 

We have been on the integration journey for 
years. I hear too little excitement about it. If 
we believe that integration means more than 
simply a larger aggregate of members, pro- 
grams, staff and budgets; if we believe in the 
filling, the fullness that Isaiah promises, and 
communicate that, then the integration current 
will grow into an energy that can only multiply. 

People are eager to become more. Can we 
go into each congregation and invite people to 
a new spiritual banquet? That banquet may 
mean we join all our Mennonite energies and 


If we believe that integration means more than simply a 
larger aggregate of members, programs, staff and bud- 
gets; if we believe in the filling, the fullness that Isaiah 
promises, and communicate that, then the integration cur- 
rent will grow into an energy that can only multiply. 


resources into one great spiritual mission. 

Can we help people catch the vision or the 
experience of joyful giving — both of ourselves 
and of our money? Paul tells us God loves 
cheerful givers. Some versions translate the 
word for “cheerful” as “hilarious.” 

Remember the last budget discussion in 
your church or conference? How many times 
have you heard someone thank God that your 
church or conference challenges us to give 
more money to our congregation, conference 
or school? How many times have you heard 
thanks expressed that we can serve on boards 
and committees, teach Sunday school, lead the 
youth group or visit the sick and those in 
prison? 

The “hilarious” spirit of giving and serving 
in the church speaks to all who are eager to 
become more. I dream with Isaiah of the day 


theMennonite February 9, 1999 


7 


I dream with Isaiah of the day when we don't spend on what doesn't satisfy but have half our con- 
gregational members pleading with local church and conference finance committees to raise bud- 
gets and give more opportunities to participate in the hilarity of giving our money and our being. I 
dream of each believer becoming more involved in letting God's healing and hope flow through us 
to the world. 


when we don’t spend on what doesn’t satisfy 
but have half our congregational members 
pleading with local church and conference 
finance committees to raise budgets and give 
more opportunities to participate in the hilarity 
of giving our money and our being. I dream of 
each believer becoming more involved in let- 
ting God’s healing and hope flow through us to 
the world. 

I dream of that day when all my Mennonite 
brothers and sisters direct our energies, our 


prayers and our vision of healing and hope at 
the needs and opportunities to change the 
world around us. Integration will be only an 
early, small step as we together show the 
world that we are eager to become more. 

Bernie Wiebe is assistant moderator for the Gen- 
eral Conference Mennonite Church. This article 
is excerpted from a meditation he gave to the 
joint general boards in Winnipeg in November 
1998. 


Integration that is 

theologically and missionally correct 


by John C. Murray 


O ne of the opportunities provided by the 
integration of the Mennonite Church 
and the General Conference Menno- 
nite Church is to reflect on how effec- 
tively our structures address various issues. 

Racism was one of the important issues the 
delegate body asked the general boards and 
the Integration Committee to address. This is 
a challenging issue because both attitudes and 
organizational structure affect it. Even if the 
desire of our heart is to be anti-racist, organi- 
zational structures may hinder true inclusion 
of racial diversity. The best organizational 
structure will not be effective if we harbor 
racist attitudes. Both our attitudes and our 
structures must be transformed. 

The Integration Committee met with repre- 
sentatives from various racial and ethnic back- 
grounds on Sept. 24-25, 1998. The interchange 
was helpful and enlightening. In response to 
these conversations the Integration Committee 
articulated some initial directions for the new 
denomination. Certainly, those racial or ethnic 
groups that have developed organizational 


structures and ministries need to be closely 
linked to the denominational governance 
structures. But that alone is not adequate. 
Racial and ethnic groups not formally orga- 
nized also have important voices the church 
must hear. The diversity within each cultural 
community cannot be represented by one 
voice or one gender. Those who make up the 
new denomination must be committed to 
cross-cultural ministries. This involvement 
cannot merely be defined in terms of connec- 
tions to governance structures but in mutual 
relationship and ministry. 

As I read responses to the reports of the 
Integration Committee’s meeting with racial 
and ethnic groups, I was troubled by the 
response that we were merely being “political- 
ly correct” and that this should not be the con- 
cern of the new church. 

This is not about being politically correct; it 
is about being missionally correct. We increas- 
ingly experience the reality that cross-cultural 
ministry does not only happen when Chris- 
tians cross the boundaries of nations and con- 


The diversity within each cultural community cannot be represented by one 
voice or one gender. Those who make up the new denomination must be com- 
mitted to cross-cultural ministries. 


theMennonite February 9, 1999 



N This is not about being politically correct; it is about being missionally cor- 
rect This is not about being politically correct; it is about being theologi- 

cally complete. . . . This is not about being politically correct; it is about being 
anatomically complete. 


tinents. Cross-cultural ministry happens within 
our borders. If a local cross-cultural ministry is 
to avoid being paternalistic and find effective 
means to proclaim the gospel in the context of 
various cultures, then its mission must flow 
from an intentionally cross-cultural organiza- 
tion. 

This is not about being politically correct; it 
is about being theologically complete. In John 
1:43-46, Philip invites Nathaniel to come and 
meet Jesus. Nathaniel replies, “Can anything 
good come out of Nazareth?” His prejudice 
nearly cost him the opportunity to encounter 
Jesus. Sometimes our prejudice is that blatant. 
Sometimes it is more subtle. But even subtle 
and sophisticated forms of prejudice lead to 
the exclusion of other races. In turn we will 
miss encounters with Jesus and what Jesus is 
doing in and through people of other races and 
cultures. 

This is not about being politically correct; it 
is about being anatomically complete. The 
body of Christ includes people from all tribes, 
tongues and nations. If our denomination is to 
reflect the fullness of the body of Christ, then 
it must intentionally include a broad represen- 
tation of races and cultures. 

When the general boards decided to move 
integration forward through two country struc- 
tures, Dwight McFadden, an African-Ameri- 
can, was chairing the meeting. Adam Liu, of 
Chinese descent, led in prayer before the deci- 
sion was made. I hope this is a sign of the 
cross-cultural nature of the new denomination. 

However, the general boards are over- 
whelmingly white male groups. And it is this 
group that must dissolve itself to form a new 
organizational structure in which white males 
will not have all the control we have been so 
used to wielding. We must divest ourselves of 
enough power that we do not put people of 
other racial and ethnic groups in the position of 
having to compete with one another for the lim- 
ited connections with the new denomination. I 


pray we will have the courage to divest our- 
selves of that control and in the process discov- 
er the joy of the completeness of the body of 
Christ in the fullness of the Spirit. 

John C. Murray is co-chair of the Integration 
Committee. This article is adapted from com- 
ments he made to the joint general boards in 
Winnipeg in November 1998. 


Make 1999 a year of Jubilee 

by Charles B. Shenk 

The Prince of Peace brings us the ministry of reconciliation. His identity and our task 
are made clear for us. But peace often eludes us, not only on the world scene but with- 
in our Christian community. Where Jesus crosses boundaries to include, we set up 
boundaries that exclude and divide. 

Over the years we have staked out positions from which we brand other people or 
groups or conferences as wrong or unfaithful or even evil. Personal animosity and divi- 
sions result. The body of Christ is broken, its identity and character compromised. Indi- 
viduals lose spiritual, even physical, vitality. We become our worst selves rather than 
our best. We do and say scandalous things to and about each other. 

While negative attitudes toward others sometimes arise from real theological or 
ideological differences, they often come from misinformation, misunderstanding and 
lack of respect. At any rate, Jesus, the head of the church, does not want us to continue 
in such destructive ways of relating. 

The year of Jubilee (Leviticus 25) calls for land to be returned to original owners and 
for those who had become slaves to be released. Freedom and equality are to be 
restored among the people of God. 

What if we declared the year 1999 a year of spiritual Jubilee? Intentionally and with 
God's help we can put away ill feeling where relationships have failed or are strained. 
We can cease to exercise control or judgment over those with whom we disagree, and 
we can cease to elevate ourselves or our opinions by putting others down. 

Such a Jubilee would bring a new atmosphere into our relationships, restored free- 
dom and equality and mutual respect. Rifts in the body could heal. We would be free to 
be our best selves again, and the Prince of Peace could receive glory from his church. 

Without some such Jubilee celebration and restoration, I fear we of the North 
American Mennonite churches will be in poor shape to take the next steps in integra- 
tion. May the Spirit of God anoint our spirits. 

Charles B. Shenk, a retired missionary to Japan, lives in Columbus, Ohio. 


If a local cross-cultural ministry is to avoid being paternalistic and find effective 
means to proclaim the gospel in the context of various cultures, then its mis- 
sion must flow from an intentionally cross-cultural organization. 


theMennonite February 9, 1999 


news news news news news 


North American agencies approve step 
toward greater global mission partnership 


We want to move 
toward actually 
sharing the deci- 
sion making and 
goal setting. 

— Peter Rempel 


TECHNY, 111. — Leaders of North American 
Mennonite mission agencies have talked for 
two decades about increasing global partner- 
ship and accountability with churches around 
the world. Now they have decided to boost the 
talk to a more strategic level. 

The Council of International Ministries (CIM), 
at its annual gathering Jan. 23-24 in Techny, 

111., approved plans for a Global Anabaptist 
Missions Consultation, to be held July 12-15, 
2000, in Bogota, Colombia, in conjunction with 
a meeting of the Mennonite World Conference 
General Council. It is expected to draw 250 
participants, half of them MWC General Coun- 
cil members. The goal of the consultation is to 
achieve more collaboration and partnership on 
each continent and to get a better handle on 
the gifts the global community brings to a 
common Mennonite mission and how they 
might be deployed. 

CIM is made up of 22 U.S. and Canadian 
Mennonite mission and service agencies. 

‘We want to move toward actually sharing 



■ • ■ • a ■ ■ Jim Dibiiup 

Light against the darkness 

Eastern Mennonite University juniors Shyleen Wesley from New York City (left) and Fikir 
Tilahun from Beltsville, Md., light a candle before venturing outside on the cold, breezy 
evening of Jan. 18 for a vigil on the Harrisonburg, Va., campus in commemoration of 
Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The vigil, one of a variety of activities at EMU and at Menno- 
nite schools across the country, gave students the opportunity to reflect on King's life, 
work and legacy. 


the decision making and goal setting for global 
missions with Anabaptist churches around the 
world,” said Peter Rempel, CIM executive sec- 
retary. 

Some meeting participants expressed hesi- 
tancy about the consultation, noting the logis- 
tics of decision making on a global scale and 
the role of current agencies in new models. 

But Mennonite Board of Missions president 
Stanley Green said he was “thrilled that we’re 
moving beyond simply talking about it.” 

The consultation was proposed at last year’s 
CIM annual meeting. A committee has since 
refined the proposed format in response to 
requests for strong worship and celebration 
components. 

Two MWC leaders in attendance this year 
affirmed a need for global partnerships. “Many 
years ago you missionaries came to us with 
white bread, and we accepted it with gracious- 
ness,” said MWC vice president Bedru Hussein 
of Ethiopia, quoting a fellow Ethiopian. “Now 
it’s time for you to accept some brown bread.” 

MWC president Mesach Krisetya noted that 
countries that used to be the target of missions 
are now becoming the initiators. He called for 
a new arena where Mennonite bodies could 
relate to each other and where “the miracle of 
partnership” could be facilitated. 

Krisetya suggested such an entity be called 
Anabaptist Forum for Facilitation of Interna- 
tional and Regional Mission, or AFFIRM. 

Questions arose about the role MWC 
should play in developing these global partner- 
ships. Krisetya acknowledged that MWC was 
not a mission agency nor was it ever meant to 
be. Nonetheless, he said, it is “the only inter- 
national Anabaptist agency where agencies can 
relate and develop vision with equal interde- 
pendence.” 

For its part, MWC has put together a tenta- 
tive proposal to help create a permanent arena 
for all Anabaptists engaged in international 
mission or service to meet, and to do so by the 
next MWC world assembly, scheduled for 
Africa in 2003. This arena, said MWC general 
secretary Larry Miller, could take the shape of 
a forum, council, federation, alliance, alliance of 
alliances or a combination of several patterns. 

‘The Spirit will lead and time will tell,” 

Miller said . — Wally Kroeker for Meetinghouse 


10 


theMennonite February 9, 1999 



Longtime educator has her Jubilee 

Curriculum director retires from < exciting time of life’ 


NEWTON, Kan. — After six years as director of 
children’s ministries for the Commission on 
Education (COE), Rosella Wiens Regier was 
preparing to take a sabbatical in 1990 — an 
Anabaptist heritage tour of Europe with her 
husband. 

But before she left, Norma Johnson, then 
executive secretary of COE, took Regier out 
for breakfast and proposed the unexpected: 
Would Regier be the executive director of a 
new inter-Anabaptist children’s curriculum? 

“I had been one of four [General Confer- 
ence Mennonite Church, Mennonite Church, 
Brethren in Christ and Church of the Brethren] 
reps that had been meeting periodically to 
work on a vision for a new curriculum,” Regier 
says. “I was floored when Norma asked me. 

“Norma said, Think about it and call me 
from Zurich.’ So I did. As I walked along the 
Limmat River and looked at the cathedral, I 
thought about the many who had lived and 
died for their faith here. It’s become increas- 
ingly important to me that I made a decision 
and accepted a challenge in Zurich as well.” 

That new Sunday school curriculum became 
the popular Jubilee: God’s Good News. Now 
more than nine years later, Regier is making 
another change and taking a sort of Jubilee of 
her own. She retired at the end of January as 
the project’s executive director. 

“It’s been an incredibly exciting time of my 
life,” she says. “I was working 70- to 80-hour 
weeks, but I wasn’t tired. I’d come in at 5 a.m. 
because I couldn’t sleep — I was so excited 
about what I was doing. I was having a ball. 
And it was a miracle it all came together.” 

Ninety-five percent positive: Jubilee made its 
first appearance five years ago. “After the first 
quarter of 1994, we got 450 evaluations from 
teachers. That’s a phenomenal number,” Regier 
says. “All they had to do was make eight check- 
marks, but people wrote volumes on the back 
of the sheet. Through tabulation, we realized 
that the comments were 95 percent positive.” 

The first cycle of Jubilee use, which covers 
early childhood through eighth grade, was 
completed in 1997. Since then, Regier has been 
setting up revision systems, working on a sum- 
mer Sunday school curriculum and taking part 
in initial meetings about the next new chil- 
dren’s Sunday school curriculum, which will 
begin development in 2006. 

Regier first became involved in churchwide 
Christian education in the 1970s, when she wrote 
curriculum for Foundation Series, the prede- 
cessor to Jubilee, and did teacher training. 
Church work became Regier’s vocation in 1984. 


She was teaching elementary school in Walton, 
Kan., when she became director of children’s 
ministries for COE. During that time she led 
the development of Venture Clubs for children. 

Regier says education has been her calling 
since she was 16 years old. “I was a junior in 
high school, at the Bethel [Mennonite] Church 
in Inman [Kan.], and they asked me to teach 
the kindergarten Sunday school class for the 
1950-51 term,” she says. “I just had a ball. 

“It was amazing to me. My church trusted 
me with that task. I view it as a gift the church 
gave me at that point. I’ve pretty much been 
teaching ever since.” 

She taught school near Inman during her 
years at Bethel College, North Newton, Kan., 
and at Elkhart, Ind., when her husband, Harold, 
attended Mennonite Biblical Seminary (now 
Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary). 

Teaching themes: After Harold graduated 
from seminary, the Regiers went to Gulfport, 
Miss., where Harold previously had been a vol- 
untary service worker. They spent most of the 
next decade there, and Regier, of course, 
devoted a majority of her time to teaching. 

“In the summer, I directed vacation Bible 
school for more than 1,000 kids,” she says. 

“We did orientations for teachers and summer 
VSers. I helped to start a community library — 
this was the early ’60s and black children 
couldn’t use the public library. I taught Bible 
classes ... and directed recreation at the com- 
munity center.” 

But teaching was not the only theme of the 
Gulfport years as the civil rights movement 
was spreading across the South. Her only stint 
of teaching public school at Gulfport came in 
1969. “It was the first year of forced integra- 
tion, and white teachers were resigning in 
droves,” Regier says. 

The Regiers, who by then had added a son 
and a daughter to their family, returned to 
Kansas in 1971, when Harold became peace 
and social concerns secretary for the Commis- 
sion on Home Ministries in Newton. 

Now that she is retired, Regier has no plans 
to slow down, except for an upcoming vacation 
with Harold to Padre Island on the Texas coast. 
“I may travel for the Church of the Brethren, 
representing Jubilee in their congregations,” 
she says. “I’ve been asked to produce the 
fourth in a series of Jubilee supplement videos, 
to be a storyteller for Western District Confer- 
ence. I plan to spend lots of time playing with 
my [two] grandchildren. And I need to clean 
closets .” — Melanie Zuercher ofGCMC News 
Service 


GCMC pholo by Mc*lanir ZuiTch«*r 



I was having a 
ball. And it was 
a miracle it all 
came together. 

— Rosella Wiens Regier 


One in a million 

Since the Jubilee children's 
Sunday school curriculum 
was introduced in 1994, 1.05 
million student pieces have 
been sold, plus 200,000 
teacher's guides. 

Jubilee is published by 
the General Conference Men- 
nonite Church, Mennonite 
Church, Brethren in Christ 
and Church of the Brethren. 
The Mennonite Brethren and 
Friends United Meeting are 
cooperative users. 

Eight-five percent of 
Mennonite Church and 70 
percent of General Confer- 
ence Mennonite Church con- 
gregations currently use 
Jubilee materials. 


theMennonite February 9, 1999 


11 


i news news news news news news 


Despite communication, transportation obstacles, 
MDS response in Puerto Rico gains momentum 


It's not like a local- 
ized tornado in 
the States where 
one community is 
destroyed and you 
only set up in that 
community. 

— Merle Sommers 


AIBONITO, Puerto Rico — It was a cool Janu- 
ary night in Puerto Rico. At least cool for the 
local denizens. But it was quite enjoyable for 
the group of Ohio teenagers who were chuck- 
ling at the news of cold, snowy weather plagu- 
ing their friends and family back home. 

Thirteen students from Central Christian 
High School, Kidron, Ohio, spent 10 days last 
month on the island, serving with Mennonite 
Disaster Service. MDS has started a long-term 
response in Puerto Rico in the wake of the 
September 1998 assault of Hurricane Georges, 
the worst hurricane to hit the island in 60 years. 

“Besides learning to roof and do construc- 
tion work, one thing I learned from people here 
is how they take time to talk and enjoy one 
another’s company,” says student Joel Miller. 

“I realized that we take our neighbors for 
granted and people we know well back in the 
States.” 

MDS is focusing on the center of the island, 
around the town of Aibonito, a hilly and moun- 
tainous area where narrow and curvy roads 
make travel an ordeal. Finding transportation 
and communication were difficulties early on. 
Project coordinator Merle Sommers and a 
handful of long-term workers from the United 
States arrived in Puerto Rico last November, 
two months after the hurricane hit. But tele- 
phone service wasn’t fully restored until the 
end of December, making communication with 
MDS headquarters in Akron, Pa., difficult. 

Transportation was recently improved after 
the Florida MDS unit purchased three vehicles 
and shipped them to Puerto Rico and the Fed- 
eral Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) 
provided two more vehicles. 


Alabama college is 50th site for martyrs show 

Jefferson Davis Community College in Brewton, Ala., hosted “The 
Mirror of the Martyrs” Jan. 22-31, the 50th site for the 10-year-old 
traveling exhibit based on the Martyrs Mirror. 

The exhibit will be shown in the Southeast United States until 
August, including appearances at Gainesville, Fla.; Sarasota, Fla.; 
Atlanta; Chapel Hill, N.C.; and Harrisonburg, Va. “The Mirror of 
the Martyrs” has been seen by an estimated 60,000 people in 18 
states and five provinces. 

The exhibit features 16 stories of Anabaptist martyrs from the 
Martyrs Mirror, including eight copper plates etched by Dutch 
printmaker Jan Luyken for the 1685 edition of the book. The 
exhibit also features sections on the sweep of martyr experiences 
in the history of the Christian faith. — Mennonite Weekly Review 



Mennonite Disaster Service workers and brothers Joel (left) 
and Reagan Dyck of Burns Lake, B.C., pour cement for the 
new house for Domingo Mendez in Aibonito, Puerto Rico. 
Mendez and his family, who attend Iglesia Menonita Betania 
de Aibonito, had their house destroyed by Hurricane Georges 
in September 1998. 

Those have not been the only challenges for 
the MDS crew, which includes 11 long-term 
workers. “It’s not like a localized tornado in the 
States where one community is destroyed and 
you only set up in that community,” Sommers 
says. “We are spread over such a wide area.” 

The 70 FEMA referrals to MDS are located 
throughout the Aibonito area. Finding those 
referrals in the hills is a major task in itself. 

“Many times the locations or directions are 
inaccurate,” Sommers says. “You can drive five 
miles out of the way up and around and down 
the cumbersome roads and then realize that 
you’re in the wrong place.” 

As of mid-January, more than half of the 70 
referrals had been contacted by MDS, and var- 
ious major and minor repair jobs had been 
completed. But, says Sommers, “The work has 
just begun.” 

Coamo, a town south of Aibonito, has 60 
percent of the cases. An MDS satellite site is 
being set up there. 

Nevertheless, Sommers says, MDS’s work 
in Puerto Rico is rewarding. ‘We have been so 
warmly received by people here and are 
affirmed that what we do is really important to 
them,” he says. “People are amazed at what we 
do. The fact that volunteers would actually pay 
to come here to work for nothing blows their 
minds. When I tell them that we don’t charge 
for any labor, their faces light up like Christ- 
mas trees. That’s been the fun part.” — Marisa 
Doncevic for MCC News Service 


12 


theMennonite February?, 1999 


MDS photo by Marisa Doncevic 



Why go to London? Because West Virginia unit 
was presented with unique opportunity to serve 


PHILIPPI, W.Va. — It’s a long way from Philippi, 
W.Va., to London, England. And the Service 
Adventure unit in Philippi is going to make the 
trip in March, even though it sounds exotic 
and luxurious. 

Each year the unit spends a week on a 
spring trip as a time for reflection and bonding. 
One Sunday afternoon last month, unit mem- 
bers were sitting in their living room, brain- 
storming — and dreaming — about where to go 
and what to do when someone noted that 
cheap plane tickets to London were available. 

“Why would we go to London?” someone 
asked. 

Through investigation, the unit discovered 
that a service project would be possible 
through the London Mennonite Centre, which 
had drywalling needs, kitchen cabinets to be 
installed and work in its library that could be 
done by volunteers. The London Mennonite 
Centre is a resource and teaching center 
established in 1952. 

But unit members still questioned the rea- 
sons for going all the way to London: How is 
this not a glorified vacation with a little service 
thrown in? Why now instead of a year from 
now? What would be the value of going to 
another country? What are the needs in London 
vs. the needs in Philippi? Would we be ready to 
send the group to Central America before a 
place like London? How will this trip affect the 
work done in Philippi? What can be brought 
back from a trip like this that will benefit oth- 
ers? How does one make the leap from living 
in one of the poorest counties in West Virginia 


to going to one of the richest cities in the 
world? 

The unit kept exploring and praying and 
met with its support committee from Philippi 
Mennonite Church. In the end it was decided 
that this was opportunity to serve. For some in 
the unit, this may be their only chance to trav- 
el to another country. With the emerging 
Anabaptist Network of congregations in the 
United Kingdom and the complexities of 
Catholic-Protestant conflicts in the region, 
there are numerous learning possibilities. 

The five unit members and two leaders will 
travel to London March 1-8. The unit is making 
budget cuts to help pay for the trip, but each 
member of the group is also responsible for 
raising $300. 

As it is for the unit, the venture is breaking 
new ground for the London Mennonite Centre. 
“We do not normally host this many people at 
once,” says Mark Thiessen Nation, program 
director for the center and a Mennonite Board 
of Missions worker. “We presently have more 
maintenance work than we can handle. And we 
hope that young people will catch a glimpse of 
the reasons why Mennonites and Anabaptists 
are valued by other denominations in a coun- 
try where a small percentage of people attend 
church.” 

Service Adventure is a joint program of 
Mennonite Board of Missions and the Com- 
mission on Home Ministries, providing post- 
high school young adults with short-term ser- 
vice assignments . — Minnette B. Hostetler for 
GCMC and MBM news services 


Colombian visitor 
makes adjustments 

Katalina Braun misses the 
staples of rice and beans in 
her native Colombian diet. 
But after spending six months 
in the United States, she has 
found something else. 

"I love the junk food 
here/' says Braun, a native of 
Cali, Colombia. 

She is one 57 young adults 
from 27 countries participat- 
ing in Mennonite Central 
Committee's International 
Visitor Exchange Program. 

For the past six months, she 
has worked at Greencroft, a 
retirement center in Goshen, 
Ind. After a mid-term confer- 
ence this month in Saskatoon 
with the other program par- 
ticipants, Braun will spend 
six months working at a day- 
care center in Hesston, Kan. 
— John Bender 


MCC changes plans for 
Iraq leukemia medicines 

Five-year-old Shahila, a leukemia victim, is joined by her 
doctor, Selma Haddad, in a Baghdad, Iraq, pediatric hospi- 
tal. Iraqi children like Shahila are receiving leukemia med- 
icines Mennonite Central Committee has donated to Iraq's 
Ministry of Health. MCC last year purchased the medi- 
cines — enough for a complete two-year treatment for 50 
children — with plans to select and follow-up with recipi- 
ents. But logistical complications have forced MCC to 
abandon its original plan. In the meantime, more 
leukemia drugs have become available in Iraq, so MCC's 
medicines, valued at $100,000, will serve as supplements. 
The Ministry of Health will distribute the drugs to medical 
facilities that treat children with leukemia. "We are satis- 
fied that this is the next best option and that many chil- 
dren will benefit," write Greg and Fay Foster, who oversee 
MCC's work in Iraq. 



theMennonite February 9, 1999 


13 




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theMennonite February 9, 1999 



ewsbriefs newsbriefs 


Bluffton adds new major, two minors 

BLUFFTON, Ohio — Bluffton College will 
offer a new major and two new minors start- 
ing with the 1999-2000 academic year. The 
new information systems major, developed by 
the science and economics and business 
departments, will feature a broad offering of 
computer, math and business/management 
courses. 

A minor in women’s studies consolidates 
courses already offered. The second new 
minor will be teaching English to speakers of 
other languages. 

Ground breaking planned for Kansas arboretum 

HESSTON, Kan. — The Dyck Arboretum of 
the Plains, located on the Hesston College 
campus, will break ground Feb. 20 for a visi- 
tor and education center. The ceremony is 
scheduled for 4 p.m. 

The 3,700-square-foot facility will include 
an education hall, library, welcome center and 
exhibit space. The fund-raising goal of 
$685,000 was met in December 1998 with a 
$50,000 grant from the Lied Foundation Trust 
of Las Vegas. Arboretum staff members want 
to raise another $50,000 for additional furnish- 
ings and equipment. 

The 13-acre arboretum, established in 
1981, features more than 150 types of trees 



Matthew Harder Krehbiel 

Images of Jesus 

Kenichi Calderon-Kawasaki from Tokyo (left) and 
Kathy Harder Krehbiel from Newton, Kan., both 
seniors at Bethel College, North Newton, Kan., exam- 
ine the "Images of Jesus" display created by the Basic 
Issues of Faith and Life class that met during the 
school's January interterm. This year's class included 
discussions of the various images of Jesus that have 
been portrayed throughout the centuries. 


and shrubs and 300 wildflowers native to 
Kansas. Plans call for the development of 17 
more acres. 

New pastors attend seminary sessions 

HARRISONBURG, Va.— Thanks to a new 
grant-funded program, 18 new Mennonite 
pastors spent four days at Eastern Mennonite 
Seminary at no cost. They received free regis- 
tration, meals and lodging during EMS’s 
annual School for Leadership Training Jan. 
18-21. Funding came from Lilly Endowment 
and the seminary admissions office. 

The 18 pastors, in their first three years of 
Mennonite ministry, joined some 240 other 
pastors, seminary students and lay leaders for 
the event, which included classes and presen- 
tations related to the Bible and scriptural 
interpretation. 

Dissolution of binational MB church proposed 

CHICAGO — A task force is recommending 
that the binational General Conference of 
Mennonite Brethren Churches be dissolved 
into U.S. and Canadian bodies. The task force 
was authorized in 1997 to conduct a “no- 
holds-barred” review of the church and its 
ministries. 

While calling for separating the denomina- 
tion into two national bodies, the task force 
recommended five areas of partnership, such 
as missions, theological training and commu- 
nication. 

Delegates are expected to take action at 
the binational MB convention this summer in 
Wichita, Kan . — Mennonite Brethren Herald 


by the 
way ... 

Choice Books has 70 displays 
on U.S. Air Force bases. 

— MBM News Service 


Correction: The Mennonite 
Association of Retired Per- 
sons has 3,600 members 
across the country, not just 
in six chapters as reported in 
"Director of Retired People's 
Organization to Retire" in 
the Jan. 26 issue. 



Explore Europe 

with John Ruth & Wilmer Martin 


August 5-21, 1999 


Europe is the birthplace of the 
Anabaptist faith; discover your 
heritage., and learn about yourself! 


1011 Cathill Road 22 King St. S., Suite 401 

Sellersville, PA 18960 Waterloo, ON N2J 1N8 


Tour M agination 


• Hear the Anabaptist stories 

• See the sites you've read about 
in the Martyrs Mirror 

• Make European Mennonite friends 

• Find your European roots 


Call 1-800-565-0451 today 
for more information 


theMennonite February 9, 1999 


15 


the record for the record for the record 


Births 

Becker, Wade Alan, Jan. 13, 
to Bruce and Christina (Brown) 
Becker, Haviland, Kan. 


Bewick, Tara Leslie, Jan. 11, 
to Kelli (Hills) and Shawn 
Bewick, Drayton, Ont. 
Blessing, Tyler Hawk 
Edward, Jan. 6, to David and 
Kathy Blessing, Boulder, Colo. 


Clintsman, Caleb Allen, Jan. 
11, to Cynthia (Roggie) and Rod- 
ney Clintsman, Lowville, N. Y. 
Cross, Jeremy Wayne, Dec. 

27, to Jay and Pam (Rupp) Cross, 
Middlebury, Ind. 
DeHoogh-Kliewer, Hannah 
Marie, Jan. 7, to David and 
Michelle DeHoogh-Kliewer, Love- 
land, Colo. 

Epp, Susanna Camille, Jan. 7, 
to Esther and Stan Epp, Newton, 
Kan. 

Frederick, Shane, Dec. 2, to 
Evie and Steve Frederick, Hat- 
field, Pa. 

Geiser, Elizabeth Grace, Jan. 
5, to Karen (Gerber) and Olin 
Geiser, Orrville, Ohio. 

Gerber, Katelyn Emily, Dec. 
29, to Debra and Roger Gerber, 
Tavistock, Ont. 

Gerig, Barbara Joy, Jan. 1, to 
Lori (Sweet) and Lynn Gerig, 
Albany, Ore. 

Gingrich, Kyle Mason, Jan. 

14, to Bruce and Jalisa (Weber) 
Gingrich, Lititz, Pa. 


Hathaway, Benjamin Joel, 

Dec. 31, to Julie (Osborne) and 
Myron Hathaway, Millersburg, 
Ind. 

Hershey,Janae Elizabeth 
and Julia Marie (twins), Dec. 
17, to Donna (Kilheffer) and 
Mervin Hershey, New Holland, 

Pa. 

Hofer, Marissa Mikaela, Jan. 
6, to Kristi (Voegeli) and Wayne 
Hofer, Freeman, S. D. 

Holmes, Ethan Jakobe, Jan. 
5, to Amy Holmes, Hesston, Kan. 
Householter, Peter James, 
Dec. 8, to James and Karen 
(Elliot) Householter, Wheaton, III. 
Kaufman-Frey, Adam, Nov. 
22, to Cameron and Dawn Kauf- 
man-Frey, Morgantown, W. Va. 
Litwiller, Luke Edward, Jan. 
24, to Edward and Rosie 
(Endress) Litwiller, Hopedale, III. 
McCune-Wall, Brant Abram, 
Jan. 7, to Dawn and Loren 
McCune-Wall, Manhattan, Kan. 


Miller, Kelsey Renee, Jan. 17, 
to Jeffrey and Kathy (Coulter) 
Miller, Middlebury, Ind. 

Miller, Kienan Ray, Jan. 15, to 
Gordon and Tonya (Holsopple) 
Miller, Fort Wayne, Ind. 

Nase, Katherine Elizabeth, 
Dec. 26, to Lisa (Derstine) and 
Robert Nase, Harleysville, Pa. 
Priest, Aaron Logan, Jan. 4, 
to Alvin and Melissa Priest, 
Hesston, Kan. 

Schlabach, Alyssa, June 4, 
1995, received for adoption Dec. 
14, 1998, by Edith and Ken 
Schlabach, Millersburg, Ohio. 
Siebels, William Henry, Jan. 
4, to Richard and Theresa 
(Ziegler) Siebels, Newport News, 
Va. 

Snow, Niqole Rae, Jan. 10, to 
Angela (Holmes) and Casey 
Snow, Hesston, Kan. 

Stahl, Andrew David, Dec. 3, 
to Darsi St. Louis and John David 
Stahl, Bainbridge Island, Wash. 
Walker, Emily Claire Zehr, 
Jan. 6, to Cheryl Zehr Walker and 
Steve Walker, Bluffton, Ohio. 
Weaver, Cora Michelle, Jan. 
16, to Anna (Risto) and Scott 
Weaver, Waterloo, Ont. 

Yoder, Jamison Alec, Dec. 21, 
to Damon and Janet (Lehman) 
Yoder, West Chicago, III. 

Marriages 

Boschmann/Harmon: 

Michael Boschmann, North New- 
ton, Kan., and Alice Harmon, 
Salina, Kan., Jan. 2 at First Bap- 
tist Church, Salina. 
Buckwalter/Rutt: Richard 
Buckwalter, Brooklyn, N. Y„ and 
Ann Rutt, Richmond, Va., Nov. 7 
at Ginter Park United Methodist 
Church, Richmond. 
Gibbons/Reynolds: Thomas 
Gibbons, Cleveland, and Sheila 
Reynolds, Bluffton, Ohio, Dec. 26 
at Cleveland. 

Heath/Yousey: Daniel Heath, 
Erie, Pa., and Patricia Yousey, 
Akron, Ohio, Dec. 28 at Summit 
Mennonite Church, Barberton, 
Ohio. 

Jacoby/Szabo: Kathryn Jacoby, 
Bluffton, Ohio, and Jon Szabo, 
Bluffton, Jan. 16 at St. James 
Chapel at the Cathedral of St. 
John the Divine, New York. 



Conference of Mennonites in Canada 


GENERAL SECRETARY 

The Conference of Mennonites in Canada 
seeks a full-time General Secretary to begin 
serving in the proposed new Mennonite 
Church Canada in August 1999. 

As the chief executive officer, the General 
Secretary will be responsible for implementing 
the mission and vision of the transformed 
church in Canada, as well as supervising the 
staff and coordinating the total program. 

Appointed by and reporting to the General 
Board, the General Secretary relates closely 
to the various program boards and commit- 
tees of the Church. In addition, she/he carries 
primary responsibility for building and main- 
taining relationships with Canadian area 
conferences and congregations. 

The assignment also includes fostering partner- 
ship with the emerging new Mennonite Church 
US, as well as relating to other church bodies. 
Important qualifications include a strong 
personal faith, seminary and/or other graduate 
theological education, pastoral or church 
leadership experience, and proven ability to 
implement major organizational change. 

Applicants must have a demonstrated Chris- 
tian commitment from an Anabaptist/Mennon- 
ite perspective, and a passion for the ministry 
and mission of the church. 

Strong leadership and communication skills, 
organizational and administrative strength, 
personal flexibility, and willingness to travel 
are essential. The ability to relate to a wide 
spectrum of persons and a broad theological 
diversity are also requirements. 

This position will reside in Winnipeg and be part 
of the new Mennonite Church Canada, if 
delegates at St. Louis 99 approve that proposal. 

Please submit a letter of application with resume 
and three references by February 28, 1999, to: 

Ron Sawatsky 
Chair of Search Committee 
134 Woodbend Cres. 

Waterloo, ON, N2T 1G9 



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Banff, Columbia Icefields, Butchart Gardens are beautiful. 
Enjoy the farms of BC, Mennonite and Hutterite people. 

Alaska Tour/Cruise July 19 -31 

The 49th state by air, rail, bus and cruise ship. View 
glaciers, oil pipeline; enjoy salmon bake and Inside Passage. 

Maritime Provinces August 10 -20 

Cruise the Bay of Fundy, encircle the Cabot Trail; Anne of 
Green Gables drama and farm tour in New Brunswick. 

Northeast US Sept. 27 - Oct. 9 

Enjoy history and color of Philadelphia, NYC and New 
England. Lancaster's PA Dutch and the nation's capitol. 

Churchill Polar Bears Oct. 9 -16 

Tundra Buggy ride to view migrating polar bears. 


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theMennonite February 9, 1999 





Deaths 

Amstutz, Loa, 100, Bluffton, 
Ohio, died Nov. 12. Spouse: John 
Amstutz (deceased). Parents: 
Isaac and Jane Greiser Bender 
(deceased). Funeral: Nov. 16 at 
Bluffton. 

Blosser, Richard, 83, North 
Newton, Kan., died Dec. 24 of a 
stroke. Spouse: Mary Ann 
Pankratz Blosser. Parents: Chris- 
tian and Carrie Yoder Blosser 
(deceased). Other survivors: chil- 
dren Donald, Debbie Penner, 
Carol Temple; four grandchildren. 
Funeral: Dec. 28 at North Newton. 
Breckbill, Mary, 78, Willow 
Street, Pa., died Jan. 21. Spouse: 
Parke Breckbill. Parents: John 
and Annie Shaubach Meek 
(deceased). Other survivors: chil- 
dren Mervin, John , Miriam Peters, 
Anna, Wilmer; 12 grandchildren; 
eight great-grandchildren. 
Funeral: Jan. 24 at New Provi- 
dence (Pa.) Mennonite Church. 
Diener, Wilma, 80, Canton, 
Kan., died Dec. 26 of a stroke. 
Parents: Arthur and Katie Diener 
(deceased). Other survivor: 
brother Christian. Funeral: Dec. 

31 at Spring Valley Mennonite 
Church, Canton. 

Eschliman, Nora, 100, Orrville, 
Ohio, died Jan. 1 1 . Parents: John 
and Amelia Eschliman (deceased). 
Funeral: Jan. 16 at Orrville (Ohio) 
Mennonite Church. 

Graber, Marie, 79, Leo, Ind., 
died Jan. 9. Parents: Ben and 
Anna Graber (deceased). Funeral: 
Jan. 12 at North Leo Mennonite 
Church, Leo. 

Graber, Verne, 82, North New- 
ton, Kan., died Dec. 2. Spouse: 
Delia Goering Graber. Parents: 
John and Anna Goering Graber 
(deceased). Other survivors: 
daughter Paula Morris; two 
grandchildren; one great-grand- 
child. Funeral: Dec. 5 at Bethel 
College Mennonite Church, North 
Newton. 

Harder, Waldo, 81, Whitewater, 
Kan., died Jan. 5. Parents: Henry 
and Margarethe Entz Harder 
(deceased). Survivors: children 
Steven, David, Mark, Barbara 
Thomsen, Janice Schoen; 10 
grandchildren. Funeral: Jan. 9 at 
Bethel College Mennonite 
Church, North Newton, Kan. 


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Hofer, Walter, 80, Freeman, 
S.D., died Jan. 18. Spouse: Luella 
Hofer. Other survivors: children 
Maureen Friesen, Jonetta Barta; 
five grandchildren. Funeral: Jan. 
22 at Hutterthal Mennonite 
Church, Freeman. 

Leis, Ostar, 77, Tavistock, Ont., 
died Dec. 28. 

McProud, Elma Regier, 90, 

Newton, Kan., died Jan. 18. 
Spouse: Donald McProud. Par- 
ents: Bernhard and Auguste Epp 
Regier (deceased). Funeral: Jan. 
21 at Newton. 

Metzler, A. Jay, 58, Belleville, 
Pa., died Dec. 26. Spouse: Ruth 
Ann Yoder Metzler. Parents: Ross 
(deceased) and Margaret Blough 
Metzler. Other survivors: children 
Barbara, Alan, Arlin; four grand- 
children. Memorial service: Dec. 
29 at Locust Grove Mennonite 
Church, Belleville. 

Mishler, Mary Ruth, 80, Ship- 
shewana, Ind., died Jan. 18 of 
complications from a stroke. Par- 
ents: James and Verba Mishler 
(deceased). Funeral: Jan. 20 at 
Shore Mennonite Church, Ship- 
shewana. 

Oyer, Elmer "Dutch," 84, Fish- 
er, III., died Jan. 10. Spouse: Ida 
Jane Yoder Oyer (deceased). Par- 
ents: Joseph and Bertha Zimmer- 
man Oyer (deceased). Survivors: 
children Darrell, Gary, Norman; 
seven grandchildren. Funeral: 
Jan. 23 at East Bend Mennonite 
Church, Fisher. 

Short, Harold, 80, Archbold, 
Ohio, died Jan. 18. Spouse: 
Katherine Stamm Short. Parents: 
Simon and Emma Kutzli Short 
(deceased). Other survivors: chil- 
dren Gerald, William, Delvin, 
Jerry, David, Donald, Harold Jr., 
Betty Tingley; 14 grandchildren; 
eight great-grandchildren. 
Funeral: Jan. 22 at Central Men- 
nonite Church, Archbold. 
Stampfler, Emma, 94, McMil- 
lan, Mich., died Dec. 14. Spouse: 
Raymond Stampfler (deceased). 
Survivors: children Patricia Olson, 
Ann Littlejohn, Jerome; four 
grandchildren; six great-grand- 
children. Funeral: Dec. 16 at 
Newberry, Mich. 


Unruh, Olin, 75, Great Bend, 
Kan., died Jan. 11 of a heart 
attack. Spouse: Wynona Kehn 
Unruh. Parents: Walter and Lena 
Unruh (deceased). Other sur- 
vivors: children Steven, Lois 
Ratliff, Bonita Puck, Dale; 11 
grandchildren. Funeral: Jan. 14 
at Bergthal Mennonite Church, 
Pawnee Rock, Kan. 


Wedel, Richard, 86, Mound- 
ridge, Kan., died Jan. 3. Spouse: 
Marie Miller Wedel. Parents: 

Peter and Emma Kaufman Wedel 
(deceased). Other survivors: chil- 
dren Kenneth, Kay McNab, Keith. 
Funeral: Jan. 6 at First Mennonite 
Church of Christian, Moundridge. 


theMennonite February 9, 1999 


Zimmerly, Edna Blough, 94 

Sterling, Ohio, died Dec. 21. 
Spouse: Dennis Zimmerly 
(deceased). Parents: Christian 
and Amanda Blough (deceased). 
Survivors: children Ann Detweil- 
er, Dennis, Evelyn, Jacob, Twila, 
Velma; seven grandchildren; 16 
great-grandchildren. Funeral: 
Dec. 24 at Crown Hill Mennonite 
Church, Rittman, Ohio. 


17 



classifieds 


Classified advertising 
space in The Menno- 
nite is available to 
congregations, con- 
ferences, businesses, 
and churchwide 
boards and agencies. 
Cost for one-time 
placement is $1.10 
per word, minimum 
of $30. To place a 
classified ad in The 
Mennonite, call 800- 
790-2498 and ask for 
Melanie Mueller. 


• Experienced bricklayers and mason tenders needed in the central 
Texas area. Call Quality Brickworks, Inc., 254-722-6060. 

• Maplewood Mennonite Church seeks a 1/3-time music director 

with some worship planning responsibilities. Send resumes by Feb. 25, 1999, 
to Maplewood Mennonite Church, attn. Judy Stauffer, 4129 Maplecrest Road, 
Fort Wayne, IN 46815. 

• Bahia Vista Mennonite Church, Sarasota, Fla., seeks resumes of 
people interested in serving as minister of youth and young adults 
Candidates should submit their resume or letter of interest to A. Jerome 
Yoder, chair, Search Committee, Bahia Vista Mennonite Church, 4041 Bahia 
Vista St., Sarasota, FL 34232. 

• China Educational Exchange, an inter-Mennonite program, is 
sponsoring a five-week teaching program in China this summer. One 
week of orientation and sight-seeing in Beijing is included. Teaching experi- 
ence not required. 

For more information, contact CEE, 1251 Virginia Ave., Harrisonburg, VA 
22802; 540-432-6983; fax 540-434-5556; email ChinaEdEx@aol.com. 


• Goshen College seeks applicants for a full-time position in the physi- 
cal education department. Responsibilities include giving leadership to 
the academic program as department chair, to the athletic program as ath- 
letic director and teaching physical education courses, e.g., research seminar, 
physical education for children, or supervision of student teachers. Candi- 
dates must demonstrate extensive training and experience in teaching, 
coaching and administration. Physical education teaching experience at the 
K-12 level strengthens candidacy. An understanding of and commitment to 
Goshen College's vision for a strong athletic program as part of the overall 
academic mission of the college is essential. A doctorate or master's degree 
in physical education or related field is required. Interviewing will begin Feb. 
16 and continue until the position is filled. 

Please send resume and three letters of reference to Paul Keim, vice 
president for academic affairs and academic dean, Goshen College, 1700 S. 
Main St„ Goshen, IN 46526; 219-535-7503; fax 219-535-7060; e-mail 
dean@goshen.edu. We encourage applications through our web site at 
www.goshen.edu under "job postings." Goshen College, an affirmative- 
action employer, is committed to Christian beliefs and values as interpreted 
by the Mennonite Church. Goshen College strongly encourages applications 
from members of under-represented groups and women. 


• First Mennonite Church of Indianapolis seeks a half-time associate 
pastor with broad pastoral duties and a focus on young adults and youth. 
Position available May 1 . Women and minorities especially encouraged to 
apply. Please contact Search Committee, First Mennonite Church, 4601 
Knolton Road, Indianapolis, IN 46228; 317-251-1980. 

• The International Guest House, Washington, D.C., a mission project 
of the Allegheny Mennonite Conference, has an immediate opening for a 
one-year voluntary service assignment. Responsibilities include the 
usual tasks for operating a bed and breakfast facility, with the added dimen- 
sion of relating to international guests in a Christian, homelike setting. 
Cross-cultural experience desirable. 

Contact International Guest House, 1441 Kennedy St. NW, Washington, 
DC 20011; 202-726-5808; fax 202-882-2228; email IGH-DC@juno.com. 

• First Mennonite Church is a mature, General Conference congrega- 
tion of 225 members situated near downtown Saskatoon. We are in need of 
a full-time experienced associate pastor with an Anabaptist foundation. 
This person will have strong gifts in teaching, leadership and outreach; will 
be Spirit-filled, highly motivated with good interpersonal skills; will have the 
ability to reach out to the broader community, especially younger genera- 
tions. 

Please send resumes to Search Committee, c/o Albert Warkentin, 
112-2305 Adelaide St. East, Saskatoon, SK S7J 5H6. 

• Goshen College seeks an admission coordinator for the B.S.N. 
completion program, a half-time administrative faculty position. Responsi- 
bilities include recruitment of students, administration of the program and 
policy development. Bachelor's degree required, master's degree preferred, 
in nursing, business management, marketing ora related field, and at least 
two years experience with health care or marketing and recruitment. Inter- 
views begin March 1, job responsibilities begin April 1, 1999. 

Please send resume and three letters of reference to Paul Keim, vice 
president for academic affairs and academic dean, Goshen College, 1700 S. 
Main St., Goshen, IN 46526; 219-535-7503; fax 219-535-7060; email 
dean@goshen.edu. We encourage applications through our web site at 
www.goshen.edu under "job postings." Goshen College, an affirmative- 
action employer, is committed to Christian beliefs and values as interpreted 
by the Mennonite Church. Goshen College strongly encourages applications 
from members of under-represented groups and men. 

• Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community, Harrisonburg, Va., 
seeks wellness center director to open new wellness center in spring of 
2000, and expand existing wellness program for VMRC residents, staff and 
community seniors. Candidate must have minimum of bachelor's degree, 
appropriate certifications and experience directing a wellness-fitness pro- 
gram for older adults and employees. Successful candidate will have strong 
marketing and research skills, ability to direct center operations, build net- 
works and facilitate teamwork. 

Qualified candidates submit one-page letter describing wellness philos- 
ophy, resume and salary history to Director of Human Resources, 1501 Vir- 
ginia Ave., Harrisonburg, VA 22802; fax 540-564-3700; email hr@vmrc.org; 
website www.vmrc.org. 


• Salford Mennonite Church seeks candidates for youth pastor. Sal- 
ford Mennonite Church is located in Harleysville, Pa„ about 30 miles north of 
Philadelphia. Candidates should hold strong Anabaptist beliefs and have a 
passion for youth. The youth pastor position is currently half-time, but Sal- 
ford welcomes candidates seeking full-time or part-time ministry opportu- 
nities. 

Interested people may respond in writing to Youth Pastor Search Com- 
mittee, Salford Mennonite Church, 480 Groff's Mill Road, Harleysville, PA 
19438; 215-256-0778; email mail@salfordmc.org. 


Mennonite Central Committee 

invites applications for the position of: 

Director of 

International Programs 

Starting date: August 1999 
Location: Akron, Pennsylvania 
Applications accepted through April 2, 1999 

Direct inquiries and applications to: 

Dwight McFadden, Director of Human Resources, 
MCC, 21 South 12th St., PO Box 500, 

Akron PA 17501 -0500 

Qualifications: An understanding of MCC as 
a service agency founded by North American 
Mennonite and Brethren in Christ churches. 
Experience in international programs with strong 
cross-cultural skills. Administrative and overseas 
experience, with strong conceptual and analytical 
skills for program design, planning and 
evaluation. College/University Degree required, 
master's degree preferred. 

Mennonite 
Central 
Committee 


Mennonite Central Committee and MCC U.S. 

21 South 12th Street, PO Box 500, Akron, PA 17501-0500 
(71 7) 859-1 1 51 (71 7) 859-3889 

Mennonite Central Committee Canada 

134 Plaza Drive, Winnipeg, MB R3T 5K9 
(204)261-6381 



18 


theMennonite February 9, 1999 



eaking out speaking out 


Is it too late to reconsider the two-country structure? 


That they may all be one ...so that the world 
may believe that you have sent me. — John 17:21 

W e must reconsider the current move of 
separate U.S. and Canadian structures. 
Organization and structure have their 
place, but they must never get in the way of 
basics — which include loving each other and 
being a witness to the world. 

The reason for the merger of the Menno- 
nite Church (MC) and General Conference 
Mennonite Church (GC) is not greater effi- 
ciency but to be a more authentic witness. Peo- 
ple outside the church who see our fractured 
condition probably see little difference 
between us and the ethnic splintering seen in 
Rwanda and Bosnia. Only the method of our 
squabble is different. 

During Advent we told our children about 
the wolf and lamb lying down together in 
peace, that that’s how we Christians should 
live together. We ought to be more honest and 
also tell them about our seeming obsession 
with separating ourselves from each other. 

Our Mennonite history is full of divisions. 

I am a Canadian citizen living in the United 
States. I was baptized and ordained in a GC 
congregation and now am a member and 
attend an MC congregation. All this didn’t just 
happen: Elfrieda, my wife, and I have long held 
deep convictions about the need for integra- 
tion. But not with a complicated two-country 
structure that makes the 49th parallel more 
important than John 17. We need more imagi- 
nation, more trust and more love. 

Imagination: Albert Einstein said, “Imagina- 
tion is more important than knowledge.” 

There were two moments in the gradual devel- 
opment of the merger idea when imagination 
broke through like light in the darkness. In 
those illumined and blessed moments we had 
a glimpse of the new denomination. One was 
at Bethlehem ’83, when GC president Jake 
Tilitzky and MC moderator Ross Bender 
moved slowly from opposite sides of the stage 
toward each other, dialoguing as they went, 
until they met in the middle, shook hands and 
embraced. The applause was unprecedented. 

The other was at Wichita ’95, when the two 
groups met after separate meetings in which 
each had voted overwhelmingly to unite. 

When this was announced at the joint meet- 
ing, eyes became moist as we sang, “Here in 
this place, new light is streaming, now is the 
darkness vanished away.” 


Trust: In those two moments we were one. by Peter Dyck 
Then the “realists” took over. In effect they 
said imagination is OK, but we must also pay 
attention to knowledge. Of course, there are 
administrative and structural differences that 
need to be taken care of, but let’s not let these 
differences blur the vision or sabotage the 
dream. Nuts and bolts have become prominent 
on the agenda. We are prepared to spend more 
than $500,000 on what in the end is going to 


Of course, there are administrative and structural differ- 
ences that need to be taken care of, but let's not let these 
differences blur the vision or sabotage the dream. 


be a contract marriage. Every detail will be 
taken care of except one — lack of trust. 

Love: Finally, to make this merger work we 
need not only imagination and more trust but 
a heap of love. It is still true that faith and 
hope are wonderful ingredients in this difficult 
and complex venture, but the greatest is love. 
If we do not offer the world love, tolerance and 
acceptance, what do we have that others don’t 
offer? We have many “spiritual” people in our 
churches concerned about dotting every “i” 
and crossing every “t” but who cannot love. 
They know all about 1 Corinthians 13, but they 
cannot love. Before his Damascus road experi- 
ence, Paul boasted about his spirituality: “cir- 
cumcised on the eighth day, a member of the 
people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a 
Hebrew born of Hebrews ... as to righteous- 
ness under the law, blameless” (Philippians 
3:5-6), but he would have nothing to do with 
the Christians. They were different. No one 
will deny that Paul was a spiritual man, but he 
couldn’t love or even accept those who dif- 
fered with him. 

Was it not love that attracted the non-Chris- 
tians to the early church so that they flocked 
to join it? There is imagination, trust and love, 
but the greatest of these is love. If we take 1 
Corinthians 13 and John 17 seriously we sim- 
ply must take another look at the “one-denomi- 
nation, two-country structure.” 

Peter Dyck is a member ofKingview Mennonite 
Church, Scottdale, Pa., was a long-time admin- 
istrator for Mennonite Central Committee and 
is a well-known storyteller. 


Faith resources 

Just Peacemaking: Ten Prac- 
tices for Abolishing War, edit- 
ed by Glen Stassen (The Pil- 
grim Press, 1998, $29.95 
hardcover, $16.95 paper), 
includes essays by 23 schol- 
ars, including Mennonites 
Duane K. Friesen and Ted 
Koontz. 

Re-forming the Center: Ameri- 
can Protestantism, 1900 to 
the Present, edited by 
Douglas Jacobsen and 
William Vance Trollinger Jr. 
(Eerdmans, 1998, $28), 
explores the structure and 
identity of American Protes- 
tantism in the 20th century. 

Is God a Vegetarian? Chris- 
tianity, Vegetarianism and 
Animal Rights by Richard 
Alan Young (Open Court, 
1998, $19.95) examines key 
biblical texts pertaining to 
dietary customs, vegetarian- 
ism and animal rights. 


theMennonite February 9, 1999 


19 


rial editorial editorial editorial 



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ASSOC MENN BIBLICAL SEM 
3003 BENHAM AVE 
ELKHART IN 46517-1999 


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Past and present demonstrate hope for future leadership 


Rich Preheim 


Robert Kreider’s record of contributions to the 
church is as distinguished as any you’ll find in 
the last half of the 20th century. His academic 
career spanned more than three decades as 
professor and administrator at Bluffton (Ohio) 
College and Bethel College, North Newton, 
Kan. A longtime Mennonite Central Committee 
board member, he was instrumental in starting 
MCC’s Teachers Abroad Program and China 
Educational Exchange. A historian, he is one 
of the organizers of the “Mirror of the Martyrs” 
traveling exhibit, telling the story of those who 
have died for their faith. His writings have cov- 
ered faith, reconciliation, scholarship and more. 

But before making his mark on contempo- 
rary Mennonitism, Kreider was a young man, 
short in experience and qualifications. 

We all have been or will be like him in that 
regard: teenagers to 30-somethings facing the 
challenges of faith and life in our times, trying 
to carry on the work inherited from our elders 
despite our real or perceived shortcomings. 
Failure can loom large, and success is not always 
evident. But know that youth can — and do — 
meet the demands before them, offering hope 
amid fears that the passing of generations could 
leave the church devoid of leadership and vision. 

They may not have cut their leadership teeth in alternative 
service, as previous generations did, but that doesn't mean 
they are less able to assume responsibility. 

Kreider was pursuing post-graduate studies 
at the University of Chicago when, in the early 
1940s, the call came from the church in the 
form of Civilian Public Service (CPS). Even 
though he had been preparing for a career in 
history, Kreider while in his 20s became an 
administrator of MCC’s mental health program 
and then went on to provide significant leader- 
ship in post-war relief operations in Germany. 

And the rest, as they say, is history, as Men- 
nonites entered a new era of witnessing to the 
world. Like a myriad of stories throughout the 
ages, the accounts of Kreider and numerous 
others of the CPS generation demonstrate that 
young people can guide the vyork of the church, 
sometimes in glorious fashion. Furthermore, 


young people can mature in their leadership 
abilities as the years go. 

While the past demonstrates encouragement 
for the future, so does the present. A friend 
recently queried me (and dozens of others) 
about potential candidates to interview for a 
project on young adults in the church. Within 
minutes, I came up with more than 30 names 
of people in their 20s and 30s who have or will 
provide leadership in advancing the kingdom 
in local, national and international arenas. 

There were pastors of thriving, vibrant con- 
gregations and administrators of denomina- 
tional programs pushing the church to greater 
faithfulness. There were people already with 
years of mission and service experience, both 
here and abroad. There were seminarians and 
graduate school students preparing to further 
contribute their energies and abilities. 

My list included musicians and teachers, 
insurance agents and journalists, chemists and 
social workers, farmers and doctors, African- 
Americans and Hispanics, rural folks and 
urban denizens. One person is using his artis- 
tic skills to communicate the good news in 
inner-city contexts. Another person has served 
as a consultant for peace and justice agencies 
working in the Middle East. 

These are people who have taught Sunday 
school, advised youth groups, been congrega- 
tional council members, chaired local meat- 
canning committees, held positions on the area 
conference level, served on churchwide boards. 

This age group may be called Generation X 
or Baby Busters, names with connotations of 
cynicism and suspicion of the present and the 
future. But while these 20- and 30-somethings 
have their own cultural and historical distinctives, 
they are talented, creative followers of the Eter- 
nal God, committed to kingdom work on earth. 

Robert Kreider is now living in North New- 
ton, Kan., leading an active retirement. The 
church is a whole lot different now than when 
he and his peers inherited it from their elders. 
And the church will no doubt be a whole lot 
different when the younger generation is done. 
They may not have cut their leadership teeth 
in alternative service, as previous generations 
did, but they are certainly capable to assume 
responsibility . — rp 


20 


theMennonite February 9, 1999 


0 


theMennonite 

February 16, 1999 



^uck Neufeld looks back on his years with Mennonite Voluntary Service 

. 7 A daily washing in the Word 

8 Socially responsible investing expanding 

9 First Brazilian Mennonite missionaries 


1 6 Only by prayer and fasting 


ders say readers say readers say 


This publication welcomes 
your letters, either about our 
content or about issues fac- 
ing the Mennonite church. 
Please keep your letters 
brief — two or three para- 
graphs — and about one 
subject only. We reserve the 
right to edit for length and 
clarity. Publication is also 


Homosexuality and the church (continued) 

The two articles by John Roth (“Why the Men- 
nonite Church Does Not Regard Same-Sex 
Marriages as a Christian Option,” Jan. 18 and 
26) were very helpful in better understanding 
what is clearly the majority position of the 
church and better evaluating the various argu- 
ments on both sides of the issue today. The 
arguments support the position that God’s 
basic intent is for heterosexual unions in which 
children are conceived, born and nurtured. 

In general I also agree that the arguments 
based on more subjective personal experience 
and current cultural developments are secondary 
to our biblical understanding and the history/ 
tradition of the Christian community. But we 
also know that — rightly or wrongly — the tradi- 
tion of the Christian community is subject to 
change, as for example regarding the accep- 
tance into our congregations of divorced and 
remarried individuals. In such changes the role 
of personal experience is clearly important, as 
was Peter’s experience that the Spirit had also 
descended on Gentile/uncircumcised believers. 

This also means that we must take seriously 
and treat with respect arguments such as those 
by Weldon Nisly (“Homosexuality and the 
Healing of the Church,” Jan. 19) and Martin 
Lehman (‘Toward Common Ground,” Jan. 26). 
— Elmer Neufeld, Bluffton, Ohio 


subject to space limitations. 
Send your letters to Readers 
Say, The Mennonite, P.0. Box 
347, Newton, KS 67114. 

Or you can email us at: 
theMennonite@gcmc.org. 
Please include your name 
and address. We will not 
print letters sent anony- 
mously, though we may 
withhold names at our dis- 
cretion . — Editors 


Roth’s articles were well written. But I give 
more credence than he does to personal expe- 
rience. Roth assumes that his preferred two 
sources of authority, Scripture and Christian 
tradition, are made of something other than 
collective personal experiences. 

But Scripture was not jettisoned from the 
heavens on golden plates. It was written by 
authors who had varied interpretations of the 
personal experiences of God in their communi- 
ty. It is a collection of reported personal and 
community experiences. Christian tradition is 
also a collection of past personal and group 
experiences. Tradition uses personal experi- 
ences to decide what contributes to community 
and what threatens community. And this per- 
ception changes with time. We should never 
forget that the Anabaptist movement got its 
start by negating the prevalent Christian tradi- 
tion of the time. 

Personal experience includes God’s Spirit at 
work within the Christian community. God’s 
Spirit informed the believing community before 
there was any written Scripture. And, like Peter 
in Acts 10: If, we need to be open to God’s Spir- 


2 


theMennonite February 16, 1999 


it informing our decision making today. Per- 
sonal experience is telling us that it is not help- 
ful to judge one another in a way that excludes 
anyone from our fellowship. — Calvin R. King, 
Lenexa, Kan. 

While I am grateful for the mediating moments 
in Roth’s articles, I was disappointed to see 
that he employed the manipulative “thought 
experiment” of comparing homosexual 
covenants to incest. This is a slippery-slope 
argument that ignores significant distinctions. 
Also, to suggest that Christians don’t bless 
incestuous unions primarily because of the 
Bible and the collective wisdom of the church 
doesn’t explain why incest is the only almost 
universal sexual taboo, even in cultures 
deprived of Scripture and the Christian tradition. 

I was chagrined, too, that in articulating var- 
ious ethical authorities, Roth misleadingly 
morphed the last of those sources for ethical 
reflection into “sexual rights,” a straw argu- 
ment he could handily dismiss. Absent was 
any regard for reason, the remaining authority 
in the usual quartet of ethical sources (Scrip- 
ture, Christian tradition, human experience 
and reason). Reason, which usually includes 
insights from natural law, human logic and the 
natural and social sciences, could have both 
strengthened and weakened Roth’s argument, 
adding integrity and clarity. 

The tension and confusion about what the 
future holds on this issue will likely remain 
with us for some time. As one deeply commit- 
ted to the church, I’m still praying for more 
charity and compassion for our gay and les- 
bian sisters and brothers than we’ve witnessed 
so far. — Keith Graber Miller, Goshen, Ind. 

Thank you for printing the article by Lehman 
and the Speaking Out by Paul M. Lederach in 
the Jan. 26 issue. They felt like that first deli- 
cious warm spring breeze after the cold of win- 
ter. I found myself crying. I think the tears that 
came first were tears for all the hurt and rejec- 
tion that gay and lesbian people I’ve known 
have experienced over the years. But these 
were also tears of joy. Somebody within the 
leadership of the church understands and is 
saying it out loud. The invitation of Revelation 
22:17 is indeed for everyone. There are no 
extenuating circumstances. Come! — Betsy 
Headrick McCrae, Akron, Pa. 

The Jan. 19 editorial (‘Working Out Our Salva- 
tion with Fear and Trembling”) was right on 


theMennonite 

Vol. 2, No. 7, February 16, 1999 



features 

4 A search for home 

Chuck Neufeld and 25 years with Mennonite Voluntary Service 

7 A daily washing in the Word 

Somehow God’s power becomes more perfect in our weakness 

departments 

2 Readers say 

8 News 

Money talk • bridge from Brazil • earthquake assistance 

11 Newsbriefs 

12 For the record 

15 Mediaculture 

16 Editorial 

Only by prayer and fasting 


Editor: J. Lome Peachey 
Associate editors 
Feature: Gordon Houser 
News: Rich Preheim 
Marketing: Marla J. Cole 
Advertising: Melanie Mueller 
Secretary: Dotty Anderson 
Design consultant: 

Judith Rempel Smucker 


Offices: 

616 Walnut Ave. 

Scottdale, PA 15683 
theMennonite@mph.org 

722 Main St., P.O.Box 347 
Newton, KS 67114 
theMennonite@gcmc.org 

Phone 1-800-790-2498 


theMennonite 

Incorporating Gospel Herald ( 1908-1998) and TheMennonite (1885-1998) 

The Mennonite seeks to serve the U.S. context of the integrating General Conference Mennonite Church and Mennonite 
Church by helping readers glorify God, grow in faith and become agents of healing and hope in the world. The Mennonite 
(ISSN 1522-7766) is published weekly on Tuesdays — except for March 30, June 29, Aug. 3 and Nov. 30 in 1999 — by the 
GC-MC Interim Periodical Board. Periodical postage paid at Scottdale, PA 15683-1999. Canada Post international publica- 
tions mail sales agreement no. 128562, GST no. R122192453. Subscription rates: $34.95 (U.S.) per year. Group rates avail- 
able. The views expressed in this publication do not necessarily represent the official positions of The Mennonite, the Interim 
Periodical Board, the General Conference Mennonite Church or the Mennonite Church. 


Web site: http://www.mph.org/themennonite 


Postmaster: Send form 3579 to 616 Walnut Ave., Scottdale, PA 15683-1999. 


readers say 

when it pointed out that the homosexuality 
issue is “about behavior, not orientation.” It has 
concerned me that there has been a tendency 
to make comparisons of different sins rather than 
hearing what the Scripture says. If we are allow- 
ing orientation to be the basis for our behavior, 
there is not much that we cannot justify. 

I also appreciated John Roth’s needed mes- 
sage. I know that those in positions of leader- 
ship have a lot of responsibility and get a lot of 
pressure from both sides. I pray for our lead- 
ers and ask that God would give wisdom for 
the tasks they have . — David Yoder, Milford, Del. 

Roth seems to have his heart in the right 
place, but his case was so diffident that I 
almost felt he had touched the mute button. 

On his own example, if the church might con- 
ceivably “change its position on the question of 
blessing homosexual marriages,” might not 


the church change its position on incest? Cover photo 

Wth regard to other articles, Acts 15 has by Katie Marshall 
gotten far too much attention, most of it 
wrong-headed and severed from its context in 
Acts 10-11. Acts 15 is not about disagree- 
ments over the interpretation or application of 
the Bible — everybody in the first century 
agreed that God’s law to Moses clearly prohib- 
ited certain foods as unclean and, thus by 
implication, prohibited association with the 
Gentiles who ate those foods. Nor is Acts 
about the importance of religious experience, 
ecstasy or being open to God’s guidance. 

Acts 15 is the account of what God did in an 
act in history, declaring clean what he had ear- 
lier declared unclean (note the past tense, 

“has made clean,” in Acts 10:15 and 11:9) and 
telling this by revelation to the apostle Christ 
had designated as holding the keys of the 
kingdom. Advocates of homosexual activity 
can get no help from Acts 15 . — Monty Ledford, 

Aberdeen, Idaho 


theMennonite February 16, 1999 


3 


by Melanie Zuercher 


[Bonnie] tossed 
her purse into the 
Jeep and walked 
right up to the 
other car. With 
the barrel of the 
gun in her belly, 
she said to the 
guys in the car, "I 
just baked a cher- 
ry pie this after- 
noon — why don't 
we go home and 
talk this over?" 

— Chuck Neufeld 


4 


A search for home 

Chuck Neufeld looks back on 25 years with Mennonite Voluntary Service. 


huck Neufeld says that one way to 
describe his life is “a search for home.” 
And for almost 25 years, one place he 
found “home” was Mennonite Voluntary 
Service (MVS). 

In April 1974, when Chuck and Bonnie 
Neufeld became unit leaders for the Markham, 
111., unit, it was part of the MVS program of the 
Commission on Home Ministries of the Gener- 
al Conference Mennonite Church (GC). Today, 
MVS is joint with the former Voluntary Service 
program of Mennonite Board of Missions of 
the Mennonite Church. On Dec. 31, 1998, 
Chuck ended his formal association with MVS. 

A native of Manitoba, Chuck has found 
south central Kansas — where MVS has been, 
and as a joint program still is, based — a touch- 
stone throughout his life. He was born in Win- 
nipeg, and by age 5 had moved with his family 
to Yarrow, B.C., where his father, Abe Neufeld, 
taught Bible school; Kiev, S.D., where Abe pas- 
tored a Russian Baptist church while waiting 
for an assignment with the Mennonite 
Brethren mission board; and Hillsboro, Kan. 

“I made my first childish, childlike, confes- 
sion of faith in Jesus in Hillsboro,” Chuck says. 
His father was finishing a bachelor’s degree at 
Tabor College. One semester shy of gradua- 
tion and right before Christmas 1954, the mis- 
sion board sent Abe and Irene Neufeld and 
their family of three boys to Neuwied, West 
Germany. They eventually did mission work in 
Austria and Switzerland as well. 

“By the time I graduated from high school, 

I had averaged a different school every year,” 
says Chuck, “sometimes two in one year, one 
time three, and had gone to school in five 
countries. 

“I never met Bonnie until that tetherball 
moment,” Chuck says. “I had driven my dad to 
Camp Arnes [a Mennonite Brethren camp 
north of Winnipeg] to be the speaker at family 
camp. I was going to drop him off and use the 
car. Then I saw Bonnie playing tetherball. She 
looked a lot better than she played. I thought 
she could use some help. I never left — I ended 
up staying for family camp.” 

“I knew by the middle of the week that this 
was who I was going to marry,” says Bonnie. 

Bonnie had already graduated from high 
school. She entered nurse’s training at Win- 
nipeg General Hospital that fall of 1966. Chuck 
had another year of high school, which he 
began in Winnipeg but had to finish in Reed- 


ley, Calif. He studied two years at Mennonite 
Brethren Bible College (now Concord Col- 
lege) in Winnipeg, and the couple married in 
1969. Two weeks later, they moved to Hills- 
boro for Chuck to attend Tabor. 

“I was almost immediately at odds with the 
administration over the Vietnam War,” says 
Chuck. “I also protested ‘compulsory religion’ 
and led a sit-in one time to protest required 
chapel. The president used to call me into his 
office regularly to tell me how much money I’d 
cost the college that day over my stance 
against the war.” 

Close to death: Chuck came close to death as 
a result of his anti-war activities. “One evening 
I had gone to pick up Bonnie, who worked [as 
a nurse] until 11. 1 was out in the parking lot, 
sitting on the hood of our Jeep, and a car 
drove up. A voice called out, ‘Are you Chuck 
Neufeld?’ I said I was, and the next thing I 
knew the nose of a double-barreled shotgun 
was pointed out the window at me. 

“Then I saw Bonnie coming out of the hos- 
pital. I yelled at her, ‘Stay back! They’ve got a 
gun!’ She kept coming. She tossed her purse 
into the Jeep and walked right up to the other 
car. With the barrel of the gun in her belly, she 
said to the guys in the car, ‘I just baked a cher- 
ry pie this afternoon — why don’t we go home 
and talk this over?’ 

“It was kind of like the rich young ruler — I 
think they didn’t know what to do, so they just 
went away sadly.” 

Chuck says the incident marked the begin- 
ning of his estrangement from the church. “I 
felt like my opposition to the war was in keep- 
ing with how the Bible had been taught at 
home and in the church. I acted on what I’d 
been taught, and I was surprised by how much 
trouble I got into. How could I be at odds with 
the people who’d sent our family into mission? 

“I don’t claim to always act as Jesus would 
have,” he says, “but I have always tried, in my 
clumsy way, to act out of that center. I still 
wonder about it today: How do we as a church 
call people to that gospel of Jesus and then 
when they take it seriously tell them to cool it? 

“I don’t recall ever contemplating turning 
my back on religion, but I no longer knew 
where to find community.” 

Chuck finished his degree in history, Bible 
and music at Tabor and eventually went to 
Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary, 
Elkhart, Ind., where he completed a one-year 



theMennonite February 16, 1999 



Chuck and Bonnie Neufeld with daughter Kristin and grand- 
daughter Naomi in December 1998. 


theology program. The Neufelds returned to 
Winnipeg, and he got his teaching certification 
in 1973. “I intended to be a high school 
teacher for the rest of my life,” he says. 

Juvenile offenders: Instead, the couple moved 
to Hamilton, Ont., to be houseparents in a 
group home for teenage boys who couldn’t be 
in the public schools. All were juvenile offend- 
ers; some were trying to get off drugs; some 
came from abusive homes. 

Chuck and Bonnie’s first child, Kristin, was 
born into this setting in October 1973. “Even 
the toughest boys, who couldn’t verbalize their 
feelings without fighting, would come upstairs 
and say, ‘Can I look at her?’ ” Bonnie says. 

“And they’d spend a long time, maybe a half 
hour, just watching her. They’d push her in her 
stroller. We trusted them with her. 

“I wondered about it. ... We were coming 
into a situation of enormous need, coming with 
privilege, a ‘safety net.’ Were we giving a 
glimpse of a different kind of life without the 
tools to get there?” 

“How often does the church offer the call 
without the tools?” Chuck says. 

Although they had been promised a week- 
end off every month in the Hamilton position, 
after 13 months, they’d had only one weekend 
free and were burned out. 

About the time they resigned, Gene Stoltz- 
fus, MVS director at the time, came to see 
them. Even though they were not in MVS, he 
usually visited them when he was in Hamilton 
to see the MVS unit there. 

Gene asked if they were interested in going 
to Markham, HI., to be part of the MVS unit 
there. The next day they met with Ed 
Springer, pastor at Community Mennonite 
Church in Markham at the time. 

They found the church and community 
“very welcoming — we had little struggle 
deciding to go there,” Chuck says. They began 
a two-year term as unit leaders in April 1974. 

At that time the Markham unit (which closed 
in 1994) had four houses — five with the 
Neufeld family — and 24 volunteers. Chuck and 


Bonnie’s second child, Jon, was born in 
Markham in I97(i. 

They assumed they would stay in Markham 
for only two years but decided at the end of 
their first term to renew. Early in the second 
term, Chuck was asked to join the MVS staff 
as associate director-east. “They wanted us to 
move to Newton,” he says, “but we couldn’t 
imagine leaving the [Markham] church and 
community” — or moving back to Kansas. 

Ten years on the road: Chuck took the position 
on a “dispersed staff’ arrangement. “I was in 
charge of units in Canada and everything east 
of Newton,” he says. “The highest number of 
units I ever had was 19. 1 was on the road 180 
to 200 days a year.” That adds up to about 10 
years away from home and nearly a million 
miles driven, he figures. 

The family learned to adjust. “I don’t know 
many couples who have enjoyed as many 
reunions and the anticipation of being together 
as we have,” says Chuck. “Even though I 
missed Bonnie and the kids, we learned to 
develop our own routines and projects.” 

“I’m grateful to MVS all those years for flex- 
ibility,” says Bonnie, who has not served offi- 
cially since 1976. “Jon developed epilepsy at 
about age 2, and Chuck was always at liberty 
to come home, to cancel or rearrange trips, 
with the flexibility and the blessing of the 
other staff. It didn’t have to be a life or death 
situation. I always felt like we as a family were 


I don't know 
many couples 
who have enjoyed 
as many reunions 
and the anticipa- 
tion of being 
together as we 
have. 

— Chuck Neufeld 


Living on $25 a month 

Chuck Neufeld has served the longest tenure of anyone in the organization's 51 -year- 
history. He has seen many changes since he began his first MVS term in 1 974. 

"Back then, young people were more willing to accept longer assignments — two 
years, or even three," he says. "Something's been happening in our society, not just 
with service work. We want sound bites, the full experience in the shortest time 

"Even though we want volunteers to have a good experience, that's not the primary 
purpose of MVS. It is, 'If you give your life, you'll save it. If you lose your life, you'll find 
it.' That's what Jesus offers." 

Chuck says MVS is feeling increasing pressure to "guarantee all kinds of benefits, 
such as student loan repayment and health benefits, that make us 'competitive' with 
other organizations. There used to be a scrappier spirit: 'Hey, we're in MVS, and we're 
going to live on $25 a month.' " 

He says there are many churches and communities that want MVS units. The prob- 
lem is finding volunteers. 

Although Chuck mourns the rise of "corporate culture" mentality in church institu- 
tions, he also appreciates his experiences with the General Conference Mennonite 
Church. "Sometimes institutions can seem like 'the required structure.' For us it was 
also a caring community that dealt respectfully and compassionately with our family." 

He notes one example of the freedom and trust he felt as part of MVS: In all the 
musical recordings he made that had MVS on the label, "nobody ever once in all those 
years censored or even scrutinized the lyrics." 

A highlight of his nearly 25 years with MVS has been "the ministry MVS has been 
involved in, in challenging the political and social structures in this country — such as 
through the sanctuary movement. I'm grateful for what's been a consistently Christ- 
centered peace witness ." — Melanie Zuercher 


theMennonite February 16, 1999 


5 



That's been my 
attempt — to live 
and work with a 
very open book, 
to be ready to 
celebrate the 
realities, however 
difficult they 
might be. There's 
tremendous safe- 
ty in that. Secrecy 
in programs leads 
to ill behavior 
somewhere down 
the road. 

— Chuck Neufeld 


included in the MVS life. 

In fact, Chuck says, “Kristin was 
stunned — disoriented — by my resig- 
nation [from MVS]. She’s only ever 
known [me] as ‘an MVSer.’ Once she 
said, “When I grow up, I’m not going to 
mow grass and paint, like my mom. I’m 
going to type like my dad.’ ” 

One reason Chuck and Bonnie were 
reluctant to leave Markham was because of 
their involvement in Community Mennonite 
Church. Chuck served as minister of worship 
for nine years, and Bonnie was minister of pas- 
toral care for a time. 

“In 1982, the congregation declared itself a 
sanctuary for Central American refugees,” 
Chuck says. “Our home was a welcoming sta- 
tion for the Overground Railroad. We had 
many rich experiences during that time. We 
had a young woman who gave birth and then 
lived with us for several months. She slept in 
our bed while we slept on the living room 
floor. We still hear from her occasionally.” 

Kansas calls: However, in 1987, Kansas called 
again, and this time, the Neufelds decided to 
go. Chuck became MVS director. 

“The spotlight was on MVS because of cir- 
cumstances surrounding the former director’s 
resignation,” Chuck says. “I remember some- 
one on the CHM board asking me what I was 
going to do about the ‘big black cloud,’ the 
negative press. And I said, ‘I don’t intend to 
stay under it. I’m going to run for every ray of 
light that’s available.’ 

“And I have. That’s been my attempt — to 
live and work with a very open book, to be 
ready to celebrate the realities, however diffi- 
cult they might be. There’s tremendous safety 
in that. Secrecy in programs leads to ill behav- 
ior somewhere down the road. 

“At the end of my time with MVS, with mil- 
lions of words written, thousands of letters and 
memos, hundreds of fights, I’m leaving with a 
clean slate, or at least a forgiven one. I’m not at 
odds with anyone.” 

Chuck was ordained in Kansas in 1991. In 
1994, Bonnie came near death after an electri- 
cal accident that left her unable to walk for a 
time. Recovery and rehabilitation were long 
and painful. 

Two years later, in 1996, the couple moved 
back to Markham to become associate pastors 
at Community Mennonite Church, although 
Chuck remained part-time on the MVS staff as 
associate director. 

‘This is not meant to make light [of Bon- 
nie’s accident] in any way,” says Chuck, “but 
the reality is we are all bumped, bruised and 
even severely injured. The question is, What 
would we be without that injury? We don’t 
know. It’s one of those mysteries we are chal- 
lenged to live with. 


theMennonite February 16, 1999 


“Without the accident, Bonnie might have 
continued to work at the clinic [in Newton] 
and I wouldn’t have been knocked off dead 
center. After it happened, we made some sig- 
nificant life changes.” 

Bonnie agrees that the accident was a piv- 
otal event. “It enabled me to think about differ- 
ent options for ministry,” she says. 

Struggle for balance: Last August, Chuck 
announced his resignation from MVS. One 
reason among many was the ongoing struggle 
to balance MVS responsibilities with “the 
other occupations in my life, pastoring and 
music-making.” Chuck has been writing songs 
since he was 15 and has a string of 10 record- 
ings stretching back more than 30 years. 

He describes the church he pastors in 
Markham as “a congregation that has declared 
itself a community devoted to [racial] integra- 
tion and committed to reflecting God’s king- 
dom as including many peoples.” Membership 
is about two-thirds African-American and the 
rest Anglo and international. 

“In the ’60s, when white homeowners were 
leaving for the suburbs and blacks were mov- 
ing in, the congregation had to decide whether 
to hand over the church and run, or stay. They 
chose to stay.” 

Leaving MVS after almost a quarter of a 
century, Chuck says it has played an integral 
part in his search for home. “For years, I was 
angry for what had happened in Kansas [dur- 
ing the Vietnam War].” 

Bonnie adds, “We were adamant for a long 
time that we wouldn’t move back to Kansas.” 
“God’s grace is sneaky — the stage was 
being set for a larger reconciliation [when we 
finally made the move in 1987],” Chuck says. 
Daughter Kristin “fell in love with a son of 
Kansas.” She and Jerry Epp met at Newton 
High School, married after college and have a 
baby daughter, Naomi. “Now my descendants 
are Kansans,” Chuck says proudly. 

“MVS has been a place of growth and safe- 
ty, despite the injuries, including broken rela- 
tionships and painful discoveries,” he says. 
“Still, the grace of God was received. I found a 
community that welcomed me when I wasn’t 
sure I wanted to be welcomed.” 

At a farewell chapel at the GC headquarters 
in Newton, Chuck told GC staff: “It’s a comfort 
and a caution. Our words and our actions occu- 
py much more than the moment in which 
they’re spoken or performed. They have their 
own life. The caution is to offer the good stuff 
decently, in a Christly way. My prayer is that 
the good stuff will have value and be recalled 
and the bad will be forgiven, with God’s 
grace.” 

Melanie Zuercher is news service editor for the 
General Conference Mennonite Church. 


transformations 

a tM series 


A daily washing in 


the Word 


P eople of God through the centuries 

have witnessed the voice of God speak- 
ing to them in the Bible (2 Timothy 
3:16; 2 Peter 1:20-21). One morning that 
voice brought remarkable healing and whole- 
ness to my mind and emotions. 

I have not done well at “daily Bible reading” 
most of my life. But two years ago I told God I 
would spend at least 10 minutes with the Bible 
each morning — for 30 days. Since then I have 
read and mulled on a passage in the Bible 
almost every morning. 

I don’t study the passage and try to figure 
out everything it says. I do that when I’m 
preparing sermons and lessons. I read maybe 
a five-minute section, anticipating that I’ll 
receive something that will delight, something 
that applies to my life. Then I interact with 
God (the author) in prayer. 

Morning after morning, as I meditate on 
this book that has been the best-seller through 
the ages, some of its spirit (Spirit) washes over 
me, enabling me to experience a bit more of 
God’s love, joy and peace in my life. Most 
mornings any help I receive from my Bible 
reading is almost imperceptible. But one 
morning it was dramatic. 

I had been chosen to represent a group of 
churches at a national meeting in Denver. As 
the week of the meeting drew closer, my anxi- 
ety level rose. About 100 people were to be at 
the meeting, many of whom I knew and 
admired and wanted to impress. 

I’m by nature shy, fearful. I have struggled 
with a speaking phobia since junior high. If the 
thought comes that I may not be able to say a 
particular word in a sentence that is forming in 
my mind, I may be physically incapable of 
articulating its sounds. One of my main con- 
cerns as I prepared to go to Denver was how 
to avoid getting choked up by my fear. 

In my devotional time the week before the 
meeting I came upon Paul’s account of his 
“thorn in the flesh” (2 Corinthians 12:7-10). I 
am glad I read that passage. 

‘To keep me from becoming conceited 
because of these surpassingly great revela- 
tions, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, 
a messenger of Satan, to torment me,” Paul 
writes (v. 7). I certainly struggle with “becom- 


ing conceited.” The fear I wrestle with is actu- by Harold N. Miller 
ally pride: What do they think of me? Am I 
articulate enough to impress them? I have gen- 
uine abilities, but maybe I need my phobia to 
keep me from being conceited. 

“Three times I pleaded with the Lord to 
take it away from me” (v. 8). Unlike Paul, who 
stopped after three times, I was still pleading 
for my inarticulateness to be removed. 

“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient 
for you, for my power is made perfect in weak- 
ness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly 
about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power 
may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, 

I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hard- 
ships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when 
I am weak, then I am strong” (w. 9-10). Here 
was an incredible promise: God could do what- 

God could do whatever needed to be done through me 
even if I was inarticulate. Somehow God's power even 
becomes more perfect in our weakness. 

ever needed to be done through me even if I 
was inarticulate. Somehow God’s power even 
becomes more perfect in our weakness. 

It was like a load lifted from my shoulders. 

All my life I felt that I had to be articulate for 
God to use me. But here God was reassuring 
me that I can be used even if I sputter. Though 
the idea ran counter to logic, the Spirit some- 
how enabled me to believe it. 

I spent the last couple days before Denver 
memorizing the passage. I said it to myself 
whenever anxiety hit me. I was fairly anxiety- 
free the whole time of the meeting. 

Ever since that blessed devotional time, I 
have a new freedom and ease of speaking. 

As I continue reading the Bible, most morn- 
ings nothing strikes me, only thoughts I 
already know. When we take a walk, nothing 
particularly meaningful usually happens. Yet 
soaking in the atmosphere rejuvenates us. I’m 
thankful God coaxed me into the habit of tak- 
ing time each morning to let the Word wash 
over me. 

Harold N. Miller lives in Corning, N.Y. 


Correction: We inadver- 
tently ommitted words from 
Susan Sommer's poem 
"Watching Ice Form on 
Shavehead Lake" (Jan. 26). 
The last two lines should 
read: "But gained is all the 
subtlety /Of ice congealed 
while ducks swim free." We 
apologize for the error. 


theMennonite February 16, 1999 


7 


zs news news news news news news 


Putting money where beliefs are 

MMAs socially responsible investing expanding 


Exodus movie 
gets scholar's help 

Stephen Reid thinks The 
Prince of Egypt, the block- 
buster movie about the Exo- 
dus, will go down in Bible 
film history. One reason was 
the filmmakers' attention to 
detail, such as calling in Reid 
as a consultant on the 
movie's animation of slaves. 

Reid, an African-American, 
teaches Old Testament at 
Austin (Texas) Presbyterian 
Theological Seminary and 
attends Austin Mennonite 
Church. He made two trips to 
Hollywood to screen the movie. 

Reid noted that Hollywood 
slaves "usually look like they 
came out of World Gym," he 
told the Austin American- 
Statesman. Instead, slaves 
generally had potbellies and 
spindly legs because their 
work primarily involved arm 
and back muscles. 

Reid has also consulted 
on the Mysteries of the Bible 
series on the Arts & Enter- 
tainment cable TV network. 


Correction: Youth Venture 
is a program of both Menno- 
nite Board of Missions and 
the Commission on Home 
Ministries. It was identified 
as only an MBM program in 
"Service Team Raising Funds 
for Colombian Center" in the 
Jan. 26 issue. 


GOSHEN, Ind. — It wasn’t Mark Regier’ s 
money that got him a White House invitation 
last month. Rather, it was someone else’s. 

As socially responsible investing (SRI) 
research and advocacy coordinator for Menno- 
nite Mutual Aid, Regier helps investigate, 
assess and advocate ways to invest that are 
conducive to the values of MMA and its 
investors. “Our commitment to stewardship 
comes out of our Anabaptist commitment to 
following Christ in all of life,” he says. 

That means investing MMA’s $1 billion in 
assets — including Mennonite Foundation, 
Mennonite Retire- 
ment Trust, insur- 
ance funds and Praxis 
mutual funds — in com- 
panies screened for 
social justice, human 
rights and environ- 
mental issues, includ- 
ing no alcohol, tobac- 
co, gambling and 
weapons and defense 
contracting. At the 
same time, invest- 
ments need to be 
financially productive. 

‘To do that, we need to be careful how our 
resources are used,” Regier says. 

Conduct and wages: He and representatives 
from some 100 apparel companies and human 
rights, labor and religious groups met with 
government officials Jan. 13 for a discussion as 
part of a White House initiative, called the 
Apparel Industry Partnership (AIP), to elimi- 
nate sweatshops. The meeting was held at the 
Old Executive Office Building, next door to 
the White House. 

The AIP is proposing a code of workplace 
conduct for apparel manufacturers and moni- 
toring methods. Regier calls it an important 
first step but laments the absence of a call for 
paying workers a living wage. 

‘We believe the issue of a living wage is crit- 
ical,” he says. “[Investors] would like to know 
their clothing is not made by people who can’t 
feed their families and take care of themselves.” 

Those concerns have taken Regier to Mexi- 
co for on-site visits with Johnson & Johnson 
officials about the wages it pays its workers in 


plants along the U.S. border. Advocacy efforts 
have also included sponsoring shareholder 
resolutions at Hewlett Packard, Deere & Com- 
pany, Atlantic Richfield and May Department 
Stores. 

We feel it’s part of our [investment] man- 
agement responsibility to take these issues to 
the companies,” Regier says. 

Socially responsible investing is gaining in 
popularity. The number of people investing in 
Praxis has jumped 173 percent since the funds 
were started in 1993, from 6,700 investors to 
18,000. The amount of money in the funds grew 
from $52 million to $162 million during that 
time, an increase of 212 percent. Nearly 10 per- 
cent of all investments in the United States are 
in SRI portfolios such as Praxis. 

SRI tithing: A new facet to MMA’s SRI work 
is community-development investing, what 
Regier calls “the tithing approach” to socially 
responsible investing. It channels some of 
MMA’s assets to people who may otherwise be 
marginalized by conventional financial institu- 
tions and practices — for example, loans for 
inner-city development. 

MMA’s community-development investing 
was approved last December, and Regier antic- 
ipates as much as $30 million will be invested 
in the program in the next several years. 

While community-development investing 
may offer returns short of market rates, Regier 
says, socially responsible investing does not 
have to mean sacrificing financial gain. In 
1998, its first full year, MMA’s Praxis Interna- 
tional placed in the top 10 percent of foreign 
stocks with a return of 24 percent. Overall, a 
1998 report showed that Domini 400, an index 
of socially screened corporations, outpaced the 
S&P 500, a popular index of unscreened corpo- 
rations, 24.29 percent compared to 23.06 per- 
cent over the previous five years. 

Regier says such statistics are evidence that 
socially responsible investing “has little or no 
effect on the bottom line.” 

To develop further its SRI program, MMA, , 
with Eastern Mennonite University in Har- 
risonburg, Va., is preparing for a fall conference j 
of academicians, theologians and business peo- ; 
pie, Regier says, “basically asking the question, 
What do Mennonites or Anabaptists believe 
business should be doing ?” — Rich Preheim 



Regier 


theMennonite February 16, 1999 


Brazilian Mennonites build bridge to Mozambique 
as church prepares to send first missionaries 


CEILANDIA, Brazil— Despite health risks, reli- 
gious barriers and language difficulties, Men- 
nonites in Brazil are preparing for their first 
overseas mission effort. 

Joao de Brito, a Brazilian Mennonite pastor, 
and Janet Plenert, executive director of JMMI, 
the mission board of the Brazil Mennonite 
Church (AEM), returned Jan. 28 from a two- 
week visit to Mozambique. De Brito and his 
wife, Rosa, will go to Mozambique later this 
year as the first missionaries sent by JMMI. 

“What I had believed with my head for sev- 
eral years, that South-South mission efforts 
make as much sense as traditional North-South 
relation, I saw confirmed,” says Plenert, who 
with her husband, Steve, serves in Brazil with 
the Commission on Overseas Mission and 
Mennonite Board of Missions. 

The purpose of the trip was to build bridges 
between the two national church groups, dis- 
cuss a vision for missions and begin prepara- 
tions for sending the de Brito family, including 
exploring housing options, opening a bank 
account, looking for a language helper and 
checking schools. 

De Brito and Plenert spent most of their time 
with Mennonites in the northern province of 
Tete. Mozambique is listed as the 10th poorest 
country in the world, and Tete is “in the most 
desperate of situations,” Plenert says. The region 
is plagued with cholera, malaria, tuberculosis, 
diarrhea, malnutrition and an HIV infection 
rate estimated to be as high as 33 percent. 

“It’s difficult to imagine ministering in this 
region without addressing the issue of basic 
preventative health care and hygiene,” Plenert 
says. 

The beginnings of AEM’s mission work in 
Mozambique — a country where, like Brazil, 
Portuguese is the official language — came in 
1995 when AEM contacted Fremont and Sara 
Regier, then Mozambique country representa- 
tives for Mennonite Central Committee. AEM’s 
president visited Mozambique the next year. 

Despite her objections, AEM last July 
named Plenert JMMI executive secretary. “I 
stated missiological reasons — it needs to be a 
Brazilian,” she says. “They recognized this, 
had discussed this and still felt I would lead 
with integrity based on experience. They were 
treating me as an insider, a member of the 
Brazil church. It was a big compliment.” 

The work in Mozambique will not be easy. 

In addition to high unemployment among the 
population, health risks and a harsh, dry cli- 
mate, there are religious barriers, Plenert says. 

‘Traditional African worship, traditional 
healers and forms of witchcraft are still com- 



GCMC/MBM/AEM photo by Janet Plenert 


mon, and the evidence of them is abundant,” 
she says. “The missionaries we visited all 
warned us of the need to be prepared for open 
spiritual warfare. I consider a very positive 
advantage of Brazilians ministering in Africa to 
be that we already face and minister in a con- 
text of open spiritual warfare.” 

Language is another concern. Although 
Mozambique’s official language is Portuguese, 
Plenert says, the Mennonites use the tribal 
language of Nhungue. ‘To complicate matters 
further, there is no Bible in the Nhungue lan- 
guage, although there is in Chichewa, which 
people say they understand,” Plenert says. 

Nevertheless, she says there is much reason 
for optimism. “The Mennonite church leaders 
were extremely open to receiving us, in fact 
almost too open,” she says. “The overeagerness 
to receive missionaries from Brazil results in 
the Mozambicans believing the missionaries 
will teach them everything they need to know. 
We had to emphasize over and over that we 
are coming in a support role, that the Holy 
Spirit is already working among them and we 
are only coming to help strengthen what they 
are already doing.” — Melanie Zuercher for 
GCMC, MBM and AEM news services 


Mozambican women sing 
during a worship service in 
a Mennonite congregation 
in the northern province of 
Tete. Representatives from 
the Brazil Mennonite Church 
visited Mozambique last 
month in preparation for 
sending to the country the 
church's first missionaries 
later this year. 


We had to 
emphasize over 
and over that we 
are coming in a 
support role, that 
the Holy Spirit is 
already working 
among them. 

— Janet Plenert 


Birth of the Evangelical Mennonite Church of Mozambique 

Mozambicans Razo Meneses and Fernando Abreu-Sitande were 
members of another denomination when they stumbled across a 
tract from the Church of God in Christ Mennonite (Holdeman) in 
Brazil and were attracted to the theology. Meneses and Abreu- 
Sitande started a new church in Mozambique, calling themselves 
the Evangelical Mennonite Church of Mozambique, holding the 
first service April 10, 1991. In 1994, Rudy Wiens, a Canadian Men- 
nonite working for World Vision in Mozambique, found the group 
and started offering support and orientation to Mennonite theolo- 
gy and practice. The church today has about 30 congregations 
and 1,500 members. — GCMC, MBM and AEM news services 


theMennonite February 16, 1999 


9 


news news news news news news 


Colombian Mennonites receive quake aid 


ARMENIA, Colombia — North American Men- 
nonite agencies have committed nearly 
$60,000 to assist Colombian Mennonite in their 
responses after the Jan. 25 earthquake which 
destroyed two-thirds of the city of Armenia. 





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The quake, which measured 6.0 on the 
Richter scale, is thought to be the worst on 
record in Colombia, killing as many as 2,000 
people, injuring 15,000 and leaving homeless 
200,000 of Armenia’s 300,000 residents. 

Mennonite Central Committee has sent 
$25,000 to Mencoldes, the Colombian Menno- 
nite development agency, and will send anoth- 
er $25,000, to be used for local purchases of 
food, water, medical supplies, generators and 
radios. MCC will also consider other aid 
requests. Mennonite Board of Missions 
(MBM) has sent $5,000 to Colombia and will 
also funnel any funds 
received from the 
community. The Com- 
mission on Overseas 
Mission (COM) has 
committed nearly 
$4,500 for the Colom- 
bia Mennonite 
Church. 

In addition, the 
Japan Mennonite Fel- 
lowship, the cooperat- 
ing body of Menno- 
nite and Brethren in Christ churches in Japan, 
has collected $500 to send to MBM and COM 
administrators Greg Rake and Ron Flaming, 
who will be making a previously scheduled 
visit to Colombia later this month. 

Other offers of assistance have come from 
Mennonite and Mennonite-related groups 
from areas near Armenia. 

Earlier reports from Armenia said the city’s 
Mennonite church had been destroyed in the 
quake. Although heavily damaged — part of the 
roof and one wall had fallen — the building is 
still standing and being used as a distribution 
center for food and medicine. The house of 
pastor Antonio Herrera was one of the few in 
the neighborhood not destroyed. 

COM and MBM together have five workers 
in Colombia. MCC has no workers in the coun- 
try. 

COM worker Gamaliel Falla says many 
members of the Armenia Mennonite Church, 
as well as others throughout the city, are living 
and sleeping in the street because of massive 
damage to their homes. One unconfirmed 
report said that one person from the family of 
a congregation member was killed. 

Falla is based in Cali, about 100 miles south- 
west of Armenia. He visited Armenia the day 
after the quake . — Melanie Zuercher for GCMC, 
MBM and MCC news services 



10 


theMennonite February 16, 1999 




sbriefs newsbriefs newsbriefs 


Cancer claims Indiana-Michigan minister 

GOSHEN, Ind.— Charlotte Holsopple Click, 
the first woman to serve full-time as a Menno- 
nite Church conference minister, died Feb. 8 
after a two-year battle with cancer. She was 51. 

From 1993 until her death, Glick was a 
regional conference minister for Indiana- 
Michigan Conference, responsible for the 40 
congregations in the Goshen, Elkhart and 
South Bend, Ind., areas. From 1980 to 1990, 
she and her husband, Del, pastored at Water- 
ford Mennonite Church, Goshen, becoming 
Indiana-Michigan’s first husband-and-wife pas- 
toral team. She had recently completed a 
chapter about being a woman pastor for a book 
to be released by Herald Press this summer. 

Glick also was a board member of Menno- 
nite Board of Congregational Ministries, serv- 
ing as chair from 1987 to 1990, an instructor 
at Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary in 
Elkhart and coordinator of the 1979 Mennonite 
Church youth convention in Waterloo, Ont. 

Survivors include her husband, Del, who is 
assistant moderator of the Mennonite Church, 
and their 16-year-old daughter, Renee. 

Africa peacemaking focus of MCC consultation 

NAIROBI, Kenya — Expatriate Mennonites 
bring a sense of community to peace work in 
Africa, creating a “positive globalization” in 


which communities share their peace tradi- 
tions, a Kenyan development worker said at a 
December 1998 consultation of Mennonite 
Central Committee (MCC) workers in Africa. 
Without those community traditions, said Sul- 
tan Somje, peace becomes a business. 

The consultation was designed to explore 
the role of expatriate peacemakers in Africa. 
Of the 75 MCC workers on the continent, 12 
work full-time in peacemaking and conflict 
resolution. 

Issues addressed included religion, tradi- 
tional methods of conflict resolution, length of 
MCC terms, cultural expectations and fund- 
ing . — MCC News Service 

Pa. high school unveils new athletic facility 

LANCASTER, Pa. — Lancaster Mennonite High 
School opened its new $3.6 million Center for 
Sports and Fitness on Jan. 22 with a ceremo- 
ny in the morning and a boys’ basketball 
game that evening. 

“The generosity of our friends reminds us 
of the generous God who calls us to be good 
stewards of all that has been entrusted to us,” 
principal Richard Thomas said at the opening 
ceremony. 

The facility includes a 1,500-seat gym, fit- 
ness room, training room, locker rooms, 
classrooms and renovations to the old gym. 


by the 
way ... 

Mountain Lake, Minn., Men- 
nonite carpenter William 
Regier manufactured 7 mil- 
lion clothespins between 
March 1945 and November 
1946, when there was a 
clothespin shortage due to 
World War II . — Mennonite 
Life 


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• Year abroad program for high school students 
• Excellent academic preparation at a fully accredited school 
• American high school diploma or International Baccalaureate 

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• Students take a Winter Tour of India and volunteer in community projects 

Contact: KW International, Inc.,159 Ralph McGill Blvd. Room 408, Atlanta, GA 30308 
Phone: 404/524-0988 Fax:404/523-5420 
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theMennonite February 16, 1999 


11 


the record for the record for the record 


Workers 


Beachey, Sarah, San Antonio, 
Texas, is beginning a one-year 
assignment with Mennonite Vol- 
untary Service (MVS) in Topeka, 
Kan., as a physical therapist aide. 
Hoover, Pearl, has completed 
a pastorate at Shalom Mennonite 
Church, Newton, Kan. 

Krehbiel, Mason, Moundridge, 
Kan., is beginning a one-year 
assignment with MVS in Rich- 
mond, Va., as a construction 
assistant. 

Smith, Jeff, in December began 
a pastorate at Central Mennonite 
Church, Archbold, Ohio. 

Welty, Lavon J., on Feb. 1 
became half-time associate con- 
ference minister for the eastern 
Central District Conference. 


Births 

August, Kristin Giang 
Huong, July 25, 1998, received 
for adoption Dec. 22, 1998, by 
MaryEllen (Nissley) and Stephen 
August, Baltimore. 

Bartek, Chloe Jane, Dec. 17, 
to Joe and Joni (Siebert) Bartek, 
Omaha, Neb. 

Berg, Zachery Peter, Dec. 30, 
to Cathy (Beery) and Terry Berg, 
Comins, Mich. 

Clark, Hunter Jacob Yoder, 

Dec. 14, 1998, received for adop- 
tion Dec. 17, 1998, by Carrie 
(Yoder) and Brian Clark, Sarasota, 
Fla. 

Drang, Erin, Jan. 19, to Chris 
(Oyer) and James Drang Jr., 
Kouts, Ind. 

Gaeddert, Keely Katherine, 

Jan. 14, to Bradley and Katherine 
(Graham) Gaeddert, Prairie Vil- 
lage, Kan. 

Hoffer, Johanna Eisemann, 

Jan. 21, to Jan (Eisemann) and 
Jeffrey Hoffer, Lancaster, Pa. 


Hughes, Anika Lee, Dec. 31, 
to Cambria (Handrich) and Dan 
Hughes, St. Ignace, Mich. 
Hutton, Emily, Jan. 1 1, to Karri 
(Roth) and Rick Hutton, Peoria, 
Ariz. 

Lambright, Emmanuel Paul, 

Dec. 26, to Charity (Wenger) and 
Wayne Lambright, Sarasota, Fla. 

Longacher, Anna Mitchell, 

Jan. 15, to Amy and Joshua 
Longacher, Norfolk, Va. 

Mast, Mariah Elizabeth, Dec. 
30, to Daniel and Lori (Martin) 
Mast, Parkesburg, Pa. 

Nisly, Olivia Jean, Jan. 28, to 
Carly and Jenny (Hochstedler) 
Nisly, Kalona, Iowa. 

Pechanec, Justin Tyler, Dec. 
29, to Jason and Susan (Reusser) 
Pechanec, Derby, Kan. 

Strait, Courtney Elizabeth, 
Jan. 26, to Dave and Nancy 
(Latshaw) Strait, Bath, N. Y. 
Walters, Maya Sun, May 26, 
1998, received for adoption Jan. 
15 by Richard and Sanna (Yoder) 
Walters, Minneapolis. 


Marriages 

Carroll/McLane: Brian Carroll, 
Bronx, N.Y., and Heather McLane, 
State College, Pa., Dec. 19, at 
University Mennonite Church, 
State College. 

Snook/Yoder: Grace Snook, 
DuBois, Pa., and John Yoder, 
Belleville, Pa., Jan. 16, at Maple 
Grove Mennonite Church, 
Belleville. 

Deaths 

Alderfer, Isaiah, 86, Harleys- 
ville, Pa., died Dec. 18 of acute 
myocardial infarction. Spouse: 
(1st) Lovina Clemens Alderfer 
(deceased); (2nd) Irene Benner 
Alderfer. Parents: Harvey and 
Susan Alderfer (deceased). Other 
survivors: children Rhoda Benner, 
Lois Zook, Rachel Hartzler, Ralph, 
David; 15 grandchildren; 11 
great-grandchildren. Funeral: 
Dec. 23 at Souderton (Pa.) Men- 
nonite Church. 


Baker, Mildred, 71, Hender- 
son, Neb., died Jan. 27. Spouse: 

Donald Baker. Other survivors: 
son Robert; two grandchildren. 

Funeral: Feb. 1 at Redeemer 
Lutheran Church, Lincoln, Neb. 

Birky, Lorna Birky, 70, Val- 
paraiso, Ind., died Jan. 16. 

Spouse: Orville Birky. Parents: 

Dean and Hazel Fleener Birky | 
(deceased). Funeral: Jan. 19 at 
Kouts, Ind. 

Detweiler, Delson Dee, 28, 

Henderson, Neb., died Jan. 21 
from a car and train accident. 

Spouse: Barbara Detweiler. Par- 
ents: Wilton and Delores 
Detweiler. Other survivors: child 
Tierney; brother Dennis. Funeral: 

Jan. 25 at First United Methodist 
Church, York, Neb. 


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time specialists fare any better? 

Walter Klaassen helps Christians enjoy God’s kingdom now 
and hope for its fulfillment. That hope has nothing to do with lit- 
eral wars, physical weapons, and rivers of blood. Instead, God is 
bringing in a peaceable kingdom, ruled by the suffering Lamb, as 
foreseen by Isaiah and fulfilled in Jesus Christ. This Lamb wins 
the battle by proclaiming the Word of God. 

This book addresses those who are sure they know when the 
End is coming, those who are confused and want biblical 
answers, and those who are no longer concerned about spiritual 
and heavenly realities. 

Paper, 288 pages, $15.99; in Canada $23.79 


Orders: 1 800 759-4447. www.mph.org 


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theMennonite February 16, 1999 



Detweiler, Dortha Stutz- 
man, 88, Albany, Ore., died Jan. 
14. Spouse: Elmer Detweiler 
(deceased). Parents: Ora and 
Lydia Boshart Stutzman 
(deceased). Survivors: children 
Mary Lois Kuhns, Carol Gross, 
Don; seven grandchildren; three 
great-grandchildren. Funeral: 
Jan. 16 at Fairview Mennonite 
Church, Albany. 

Gingerich, Cyril, 77, Zurich, 
Ont., died Jan. 20. Spouse: Carol 
Erb Gingerich. Parents: Jacob and 
Pearl Gingerich (deceased). 
Memorial service: Jan. 23 at 
Zurich Mennonite Church. 
Headings, Gertie Carver, 87, 
Plain City, Ohio, died Jan. 17. 
Spouse: Chauncey Headings. Par- 
ents: David and Fannie Garver 
(deceased). Other survivors: chil- 
dren Vernon, Jerry, Fred, Velma 
Miller, Norman, Mary Lou Miller, 
Martha Beachy, Alice Schlabach, 
Delmar, Ester Campbell; 38 
grandchildren; 32 great-grand- 
children. Funeral: Jan. 20 at 
Sharon Mennonite Church, Plain 
City. 

Kuhns, Clarence, 80, Cham- 
bersburg, Pa., died Jan. 11. 
Spouse: Mabel Diller Kuhns 
(deceased). Parents: Joseph and 
Leah Horst Kuhns (deceased). 
Survivors: children Eunice Sauder, 
Anna Predoti, Evelyn Schliestett, 
Nancy Leatherman, Fern, Miriam, 
Jay, James, Nathan; 1 1 grand- 
children; one great-grandchild. 
Funeral: Jan. 15 at Diller Menno- 
nite Church, Newville, Pa. 
Lehman, Donovan, 67, Dal- 
ton, Ohio, died Jan. 13. Parents: 
Willis and Sarean Amstutz 
Lehman (deceased). Funeral: 

Jan. 16 at Sonnenberg Menno- 
nite Church, Kidron, Ohio. 
Oswald, Alvin, 94, Shickley, 
Neb., died Jan. 7. Spouse: Susie 
Springer (deceased). Parents: 
Christian and Elizabeth Birky 
Oswald (deceased). Survivors: 
children James, Gerald, Elaine 
Good; 1 1 grandchildren; two 
great-grandchildren. Funeral: 
Jan. 11 at Salem Mennonite 
Church, Shickley. 



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y New York City Statue of Liberty and 
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y Hudson River Valley 8 1 FDR home and 
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y Penna Dutch of Lancaster County, PA at 
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Oyer, Lona, 96, Chenoa, III., 
died Dec. 31 . Spouse: Lester Oyer 
(deceased). Parents: Ben and 
LaVina Sharp (deceased). Sur- 
vivors: children June Kirkton, 
Carol Kramer, Judith Robinson; 
six grandchildren; 11 great- 
grandchildren; one great-great- 
grandchild. Funeral: Jan. 6 at 
Meadows Mennonite Church, 
Chenoa, III. 

Rocke, Cecil, 78, Pontiac, III., 
died Dec. 4. Spouse: Frances 
Rocke. Parents: Joseph and Ella 
Rocke (deceased). Other sur- 
vivors: children Mary Crutcher, 
Linda Brucker, Ella Pennington; 
three grandchildren; one great- 
grandchild. Funeral: Dec. 7 at 
Meadows Mennonite Church, 
Chenoa, III. 

Roggie, Elmer, 88, Lancaster, 
Pa., died Jan. 18. Spouse: Lola 
Zehr Roggie (deceased). Parents: 
Andrew and Anna Widrick Rog- 
gie (deceased). Survivors: chil- 
dren Ronald, Charlotte Ross, 
Bertha, Claire, Orpha Wilson, 
Rhoda Snider; seven grandchil- 
dren; two great-grandchildren. 
Funeral: Jan. 23 at Lowville (N.Y.) 
Mennonite Church. 


Roth, Dwight, 92, Goshen, 

Ind., died Jan. 20. Spouse: (1st) 
Lillian Schrock Roth (deceased); 
(2nd) Maynona Ranallo Roth. 
Parents: Harry and Ellen Burkhart 
Roth (deceased). Other survivors: 
children Janet Bradford, Vicki 
Mast, Nancy Hutchison; eight 
grandchildren; 1 1 great-grand- 
children. Funeral: Jan. 22 at Sil- 
verwood Mennonite Church, 
Goshen. 

Snider, James, 66, Souderton, 
Pa., died Jan. 19. Spouse: Pauline 
Snider. Other survivors: children 
James, Donald, Kerry, Doran; two 
grandchildren. Funeral: Jan. 23 
at Salem Mennonite Church, 
Quakertown, Pa. 

Thieszen, Abraham, 90, 
Henderson, Neb., died Jan. 12. 
Spouse: Martha Epp Thieszen 
(deceased). Parents: Aaron and 
Elizabeth Peters Thieszen 
(deceased). Survivors: children 
Esther Quiring, Erna Rempel, 
Edwin; 10 grandchildren; 14 
great-grandchildren. Memorial 
service: Jan. 15 at Henderson, 
Neb. 



Conference of Mennonites in Canada 


GENERAL SECRETARY 

The Conference of Mennonites in Canada 
seeks a full-time General Secretary to begin 
serving in the proposed new Mennonite 
Church Canada in August 1999. 

As the chief executive officer, the General 
Secretary will be responsible for implementing 
the mission and vision of the transformed 
church in Canada, as well as supervising the 
staff and coordinating the total program. 

Appointed by and reporting to the General 
Board, the General Secretary relates closely 
to the various program boards and commit- 
tees of the Church. In addition, she/he carries 
primary responsibility for building and main- 
taining relationships with Canadian area 
conferences and congregations. 

The assignment also includes fostering partner- 
ship with the emerging new Mennonite Church 
US, as well as relating to other church bodies. 
Important qualifications include a strong 
personal faith, seminary and/or other graduate 
theological education, pastoral or church 
leadership experience, and proven ability to 
implement major organizational change. 

Applicants must have a demonstrated Chris- 
tian commitment from an Anabaptist/Mennon- 
ite perspective, and a passion for the ministry 
and mission of the church. 

Strong leadership and communication skills, 
organizational and administrative strength, 
personal flexibility, and willingness to travel 
are essential. The ability to relate to a wide 
spectrum of persons and a broad theological 
diversity are also requirements. 

This position will reside in Winnipeg and be part 
of the new Mennonite Church Canada, if 
delegates at St. Louis 99 approve that proposal. 

Please submit a letter of application with resume 
and three references by February 28, 1999, to: 

Ron Sawatsky 
Chair of Search Committee 
134 Woodbend Cres. 

Waterloo, ON, N2T 1G9 


Wilt, Irene Lee, 89, Mount 
Pleasant, Iowa, died Jan. 14. 
Spouse: Everett Wilt. Parents: 
John and Eva Lee Wilt (deceased). 
Other survivors: children Mary 
Martinez, Walter, Robert; six 
grandchildren; two step grand- 
children; seven great-grandchil- 
dren; two step great-grandchil- 
dren. Funeral: Jan. 18 at Mount 
Pleasant. 


theMennonite February 16, 1999 


13 





classifieds 


Classified advertising 
space in The Menno- 
nite is available to 
congregations, con- 
ferences, businesses, 
and churchwide 
boards and agencies. 
Cost for one-time 
placement is $1.10 
per word, minimum 
of $30. To place a 
classified ad in The 
Mennonite, call 800- 
790-2498 and ask for 
Melanie Mueller. 


• Experienced bricklayers and mason tenders needed in the central 
Texas area. Call Quality Brickworks, Inc., 254-722-6060. 

• Maplewood Mennonite Church seeks a 1/3-time music director 

with some worship planning responsibilities. Send resumes by Feb. 25, 1999, 
to Maplewood Mennonite Church, attn. Judy Stauffer, 4129 Maplecrest Road, 
Fort Wayne, IN 46815. 

• Bahia Vista Mennonite Church, Sarasota, Fla., seeks resumes of 
people interested in serving as minister of youth and young adults. 
Candidates should submit their resume or letter of interest to A. Jerome 
Yoder, chair, Search Committee, Bahia Vista Mennonite Church, 4041 Bahia 
Vista St., Sarasota, FL 34232. 

• Central Christian School, Kidron, Ohio, has openings for fall 
1999: administration — assistant principal, director of development; facul- 
ty — industrial arts, physical education, varsity soccer coach; staff — music 
department secretary (20 hr./week). 

Contact Frederic Miller, 330-857-7311; orCCHS_fmiller@tccsa.ohio.gov. 

• China Educational Exchange, an inter-Mennonite program, is 
sponsoring a five-week teaching program in China this summer. One 
week of orientation and sightseeing in Beijing is included. Teaching experi- 
ence not required. 

For more information, contact CEE, 1251 Virginia Ave., Harrisonburg, VA 
22802; 540-432-6983; fax 540-434-5556; email ChinaEdEx@aol.com. 

• Souderton Mennonite Church seeks a full-time minister of wor- 
ship and outreach. Qualifications include solid commitment to Anabaptist 
theology, passion for worship and skills in organizing people for outreach 
ministry. Not a preaching assignment. 

Send resume to Souderton Mennonite Church, attn. Leadership Search 
Committee, 105 W. Chestnut St., Souderton, PA 18964. 

• First Mennonite Church is a mature, General Conference congrega- 
tion of 225 members situated near downtown Saskatoon. We are in need of 
a full-time experienced associate pastor with an Anabaptist foundation. 
This person will have strong gifts in teaching, leadership and outreach; will 
be Spirit-filled, highly motivated with good interpersonal skills; will have the 
ability to reach out to the broader community, especially younger generations. 

Please send resumes to Search Committee, c/o Albert Warkentin, 
112-2305 Adelaide St. East, Saskatoon, SK S7J 5H6. 

• The International Guest House, Washington, D.C., a mission proj- 
ect of the Allegheny Mennonite Conference, has an immediate opening for a 
one-year voluntary service assignment. Responsibilities include the 
usual tasks for operating a bed and breakfast facility, with the added dimen- 
sion of relating to international guests in a Christian, homelike setting. 
Cross-cultural experience desirable. 

Contact International Guest House, 1441 Kennedy St. NW, Washington, 
DC 2001 1 ; 202-726-5808; fax 202-882-2228; email IGH-DC@juno.com. 


ALASKA 

August 4-16, 1999 

Leaders - Mary & Hubert 

Schwartzentruber 
Enjoy majestic beauty, shimmering 
glaciers, deep fjords, soaring eagles, 
l ,000-mile cruise and the fellowship 
of Mennonite friends from all ouer 
North America. 


Call 1-800-565-0451 

for a brochure. 


Ask about our Oberammeryau tours. 



Tour Imagination 

1011 Cathill Road 22 King St. S„ Suite 401 

Sellersville, PA 18960 Waterloo, ON N2J 1N8 


• Rainbow Mennonite Church (Kansas City, Kan.), a talented, diverse, 
growing urban church (175 members), seeks a new pastor(s) to begin Sep- 
tember 1999. The congregation has identified five areas (in ranked order) as 
the most important: preaching/worship leadership, teaching, spirituality, cri- 
sis pastoral visitation, and community activities. The gift of encouraging 
openness and inclusiveness in relating to congregational diversity is expect- 
ed, as well as a strong commitment to Anabaptist teachings. 

Please contact, by March 9, Karen Goering Hostetler, 1305 Ruby, Kansas 
City, KS 66103-1043; 913-371-3057; email kghcvh@gvi.net. 

• Mennonite/Amish heritage tour directed by Peter Wiebe and Vi 
Unruh, May 25-June 8, 1999. Leaving from Yoder, Kan., and stopping in 
Missouri, Iowa, Indiana, Illinois, Ontario, Pennsylvania and Washington D.C. 
Cost $1,097. Call 800-364-2320. 

• Rockhill Mennonite Community seeks director of residential 

services. For over 59 years Rockhill Mennonite Community has provided 
older adults with a caring, supportive environment. We currently have an 
exciting opportunity for a director in our residential services department. 
This individual will counsel residents and families, document all resident 
needs/interactions, act as liaison and coordinate resources with community 
agencies. He or she will also supervise several staff members and carry a 
small caseload. MSW and long-term care experience required. 

Rockhill Mennonite Community offers competitive salary, benefits and 
opportunities for professional growth. Please send resume with salary 
requirements by Feb. 23 to Rockhill Mennonite Community, Attn. Carol, 3250 
State Road, Sellersville, PA 18960; fax 215-257-7390. EOE 

• Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community, Harrisonburg, Va., 
seeks wellness center director to open new wellness center in spring of 
2000, and expand existing wellness program for VMRC residents, staff and 
community seniors. Candidate must have minimum of bachelor's degree, 
appropriate certifications and experience directing a wellness-fitness pro- 
gram for older adults and employees. Successful candidate will have strong 
marketing and research skills, ability to direct center operations, build net- 
works and facilitate teamwork. 

Qualified candidates submit one-page letter describing wellness philosophy, 
resume and salary history to Director of Human Resources, 1 501 Virginia Ave., Har- 
risonburg, VA 22802; fax 540-564-3700; email hr@vmrc.org; www.vmrc.org. 


Mennonite Central Committee 

invites applications for the position of: 

Director of 

International Programs 

Starting date: August 1999 
Location: Akron, Pennsylvania 
Applications accepted through April 2, 1999 

Direct inquiries and applications to: 

Dwight McFadden, Director of Human Resources, 
MCC, 21 South 12th St„ PO Box 500, 

Akron PA 17501-0500 

Qualifications: An understanding of MCC as 
a service agency founded by North American 
Mennonite and Brethren in Christ churches. 
Experience in international programs with strong 
cross-cultural skills. Administrative and overseas 
experience, with strong conceptual and analytical 
skills for program design, planning and 
evaluation. College/University Degree required, 
master's degree preferred. 

Mennonite 
Central 
Committee 


Mennonite Central Committee and MCC U.S. 

21 South 12th Street, PO Box 500, Akron, PA 17501-0500 
(717) 859-1 151 (717) 859-3889 

Mennonite Central Committee Canada 

134 Plaza Drive, Winnipeg, MB R3T 5K9 
(204) 261-6381 



14 


theMennonite February 16, 1999 


re mediaculture mediaculture 




by Gordon Houser 

S ince this issue’s date falls on Shrove Tues- 
day, the day before Ash Wednesday, let’s 
look at Lent. Although Mennonites have 
generally steered clear of many of the tradi- 
tions of the liturgical churches, evidence 
shows increasing interest among us in the var- 
ious seasons of the Christian calendar. 

Most of us, I imagine, have heard of Lent, 
the period of 40 days (plus the six Sundays) 
between Ash Wednesday and Easter. It is tradi- 
tionally a time of prayer, fasting, almsgiving 
and conversion in preparation for Easter, the 
greatest feast of the Christian year. Its current 
length was established in the seventh century. 
Originally the Lenten fast was strict and 
allowed for only one meal toward evening, 
with meat and fish forbidden. Eastern Chris- 
tians have maintained something of this disci- 
pline, but not most other Christians. 

When I was growing up, my mother and I 
often gave up something for Lent — usually 
candy or desserts. I knew it was connected 
with religion, but it seemed more a part of the 
secular culture. Today it seems totally foreign 
to our secular culture. 

Except for the abundance of dieting books, 
videos and workshops, I can’t imagine any 
practice more antithetical to our society than 
fasting during Lent. Our culture tells us to sat- 
isfy our desires, and if we can’t think of any, 
there are plenty of ads to tell us just what we 
should have. For that matter, I don’t hear 
many churches encouraging fasting, whether 
during Lent or at other times. 


For those wanting to observe Ixmt, the 
Mennonite Board of Congregational Ministries 
of the Mennonite Church and the Commission 
on Education of the General Conference Men- 
nonite Church have produced “Unrevealed 
Until Its Season ... Worship and Spirituality 
Resources for Lent/Holy Week/Easter 1999” 
(available for $10 from MBCM, P.O. Box 1245, 
Elkhart, IN 46515-1245, or COE, P.O. Box 347, 
Newton, KS 67114). 

The Upper Room Ministries, P.O. Box 189, 
Nashville, TN 37202-0189, has also produced 
some helpful resources for Lent. These include 
Genesis of Grace: A Lenten Book of Days by 
John Indermark and A Lenten Journey: Travels 
in the Spiritual Life Based on the Gospel of 
Mark by Larry R. Kalajainen. Each costs $9.95. 

Here’s your chance to be countercultural. 
Try fasting and prayer for the next six weeks. 




"Facing the Truth with Bill 
Moyers" is a two-hour doc- 
umentary scheduled to air 
on PBS on March 30, but 
check your local listings. 
Moyers looks at the work 
of the Truth and Reconcili- 
ation Commission in South 
Africa. 


Readers' recommendations 

Jalane D. Schmidt, Somerville, Mass., writes that Eve's Bayou is "one of the best films" 
she saw last year. She goes on, "It has an unusual setting and cast of characters, is won- 
derfully written, has excellent acting and lush cinematography." It is available on 
video. 

David E. Ortman, Seattle, recommends the book End-Time Visions: The Road to 
Armageddon! by Richard Abanes (Four Walls Eight Windows, 1998). He writes that it 
"covers the Armageddon landscape of false preachers and false predictions." Abanes, 
he writes, "points out that end-time predictions are directly contrary to New Testament 
warnings" in Matthew 24:42, 44; Mark 13:32; Acts 1:7; 1 Thessalonians 5:1-2 and Reve- 
lation 3:3. 

Sharon K. Williams, Souderton, Pa., alerts readers to a variety of TV specials broad- 
cast in February on PBS as part of Black History Month. Among them are these: "I'll 
Make Me a World: A Century of African-American Artists," "Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir: 
Live at Madison Square Garden," "A Great Day in Harlem," "In Performance at the White 
House: Cece Winans, Glorious Gospel" and a repeat of last fall's "Africans in America: 
America's Journey Through Slavery," which was recommended in this column (Nov. 10, 
1998). 


Theology is often viewed 
merely as an academic dis- 
cipline. But according to 
Orthodox writer Kallistos 
Ware: "The true aim of 
theology is not rational 
certainty through abstract 
argument but personal 
communion with God 
through prayer." This 
serves as a premise to Mys- 
tical Theology: The Science 
of Love (Orbis, 1997, $18), 
William Johnston's 10th 
book on Christian mysti- 
cism. Mystical theology, he 
writes, is "theological 
reflection on the secret 
wisdom that comes from 
love." This book represents 
Johnston's attempt to 
rewrite such theology for a 
new era. He summarizes 
the history of mystical the- 
ology, then dialogues with 
science, Eastern religious 
practices and our current 
social and political context. 
The reading is slow going 
in places but well worth 
the effort. 


Rhubarb is a new magazine 
published quarterly by the 
Mennonite Literary Society. 
Its premiere issue came out 
in November 1998. That 44- 
page issue, which focused on 
peace, included essays, poet- 
ry, fiction, photography, crit- 
icism, reviews and humor 
(since it's published in Cana- 
da, they call it "humour"). 
The magazine welcomes 
submissions of fiction, cre- 
ative nonfiction and poetry. 
Subscriptions are $25 Cdn. 
($20 U.S.) per year. Write 
Rhubarb, 200 Lenore St., 
Winnipeg, MB R3G2C5, 
mennolit@mb.sympatico.ca. 



Joyful Ditty by Road Less 
Travelled ($15 for CD, $10 
for cassette) is indeed joy- 
ful. RLT consists of Doug 
and Jude Krehbiel, who 
wrote all but one of the 12 
songs on this, their fifth 
recording. Their "eclectic 
acoustic" music draws on 
bluegrass, country, R&B, 
Irish and gospel. They mix 
guitar, bass, dulcimer, 
banjo, dobro, harmonica, 
recorder, penny whistle, 
mandolin and percussion 
with tight harmonies in a 
richly produced recording. 
The lyrics reflect fun, con- 
cern for justice and care for 
creation. Highlights for me 
are "Harvey County Sum- 
mer Day," "Prairie Song 
(Yodel Song)" and the bal- 
lad "The Day We Fell in 
Love." The few weaker 
songs are the earliest writ- 
ten, which shows that this 
group has matured. Order 
from RLT, 1125 N. Ash, 
Newton, KS 67114, 
rltmusic@southwind.net. 


theMennonite February 16, 1999 


15 



J. Lome Peachey 


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ASSOC MENN BIBLICAL SEM 
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ELKHART IN 46517-1999 

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the new Mennonite Church. This includes the 
difficult issues of church discipline and homo- 
sexuality. The goal is to find enough common 
ground to make recommendations to the gen- 
eral boards, which will refine them for dele- 
gate response in St. Louis this summer. 

During these two weeks, we might pray for 
the planners of this consultation, for those 
invited to attend and for all of us in the church 
as we learn the results of this gathering and 
seek to mesh them with our beliefs and convic- 
tions on this issue, whatever they may be. 

March 21-April 3: For our future. 

Whatever recommendations the member- 
ship consultation will make, we must ask our- 
selves what we believe is the calling for the 
new Mennonite Church for the future. We 
have Vision: Healing and Hope to guide us. 
How do we put this vision into practice? 

I find a way in Isaiah 58:6-8. “The kind of 
fasting I want,” God says, “calls you to free 
those who are wrongly imprisoned and to stop 
oppressing those who work for you. ... I want 
you to share your food with the hungry and to 
welcome poor wanderers into your homes. 

Give clothes to those who need them, and do 
not hide from relatives who need your help. If 
you do these things, your salvation will come 
like the dawn” (New Living Translation). 

Our fasting and prayer must be put into 
action. We need to ask ourselves: Is the way 
we have done things in the past the way for 
the future? Or does the Spirit of God have new 
ways for us to clothe the naked, feed the hun- 
gry and free those who are oppressed, both in 
our midst and in the world around us? 

During this third fast, we might pray for 
new eyes to see a clearer vision, new ears to 
hear the Spirit’s voice and new understandings 
of how the gospel meets the challenges of 
today’s world, whatever these may be. 

“This can only be done by prayer and fast- 
ing,” Jesus told his disciples when they were at 
their wits’ end about how to proceed (Mark 
9:14-29). GC and MC churches may well be at 
a similar place on the eve of becoming one. 

For that reason we who edit this publication 
join the voices of others in the church for a 
period of prayer and fasting during this year’s 
Lent . — jlp 


Only by prayer and fasting 

In his Mediaculture column this issue (page 
15), associate editor Gordon Houser suggests 
the church consider fasting with prayer during 
the six weeks of Lent. As editor I join my voice 
to his. These are spiritual disciplines that have 
a way of concentrating thoughts and energies 
on God and God’s power. 

I suggest that members of the General Con- 
ference Mennonite Church (GC) and the Men- 
nonite Church (MC) consider fasting for at least 
one meal during each of three two-week peri- 
ods this Lent. We could fast and pray about 
three things: 

Feb. 21 -March 6: For ourselves as the church. 

We Mennonites are becoming an angry and 
impatient people. Following publication of two 
issues on the church’s stand on homosexuality 
(Jan. 19 and Jan. 26), this magazine received 
150 letters and emails in one week. This in- 
cluded 60 subscription cancellations. While 
there were many reasons for these, a domi- 
nant theme was the fact that this publication — 

Does the Spirit of God have new ways for us to clothe the 
naked, feed the hungry and free those who are oppressed? 


and, by extension, both denominations — con- 
tinues to wrestle with this issue. Words like 
“disgrace,” “pro-homos,” and “homosexual dia- 
tribe” punctuated the responses. Several writ- 
ers said they are looking for another church. 

There is equal impatience on the other side: 
“Why can’t we be a more accepting people? 
Why are we still drawing lines and setting 
boundaries?” The sides are fast ending up 
shouting at each other. That’s one reason 
we’ve decided to discontinue the discussion in 
Readers Say for a time (see note at left). 

During these two weeks, we might pray for 
patience, for a willingness to listen and for new 
insights about how to be firm in our convic- 
tions but gentle in our disagreements. 

March 7-March 20: For the churchwide consulta- 
tion on membership and homosexuality. 

From March 11 to 14, representatives from 
area conferences, racial-ethnic groups and 
committees responsible for giving leadership 
to integration will gather near Kansas City to 
work at questions related to membership in 


Ending the debate: To 

allow space for discussion 
of other issues facing the 
church, we have decided to 
print no more letters in 
response to our two issues 
on homosexuality (Jan. 19 
and Jan. 26) after the next 
issue, Feb. 23 . — jlp 


16 


theMennonite February 16, 1999 


© 



11 


theMennoni 


ubraw 

tUCHA«n- W 


membership 


Where 
are we 
headed? 


8 Stand on promises, not codes of conduct 
1 0 New youth convention coordinator named 
1 2 Peace theology for Reconciliation Walkers 
20 No longer snakes or children of snakes 


!ers say readers say readers say 


This publication welcomes 
your letters, either about our 
content or about issues fac- 
ing the Mennonite church. 
Please keep your letters 
brief — two or three para- 
graphs — and about one 
subject only. We reserve the 
right to edit for length and 
clarity. Publication is also 
subject to space limitations. 
Send your letters to Readers 
Say, The Mennonite, P.0. Box 
347, Newton, KS 67114. 

Or you can email us at: 
theMennonite@gcmc.org. 
Please include your name 
and address. We will not 
print letters sent anony- 
mously, though we may 
withhold names at our dis- 
cretion . — Editors 


2 


The discussions continue 

I appreciated the recent series on homosexual- 
ity and the church. My concern lies less with 
the content of the articles than with the position 
of the authors within the Mennonite church. 
With all due respect to Weldon Nisly (“Homo- 
sexuality and the Healing of the Church,” Jan. 
19) and Martin W. Lehman (‘Toward Common 
Ground,” Jan. 26) and their work, they hold 
very different positions in the church than does 
John D. Roth (“Why the Mennonite Church 
Does Not Regard Same-Sex Marriages as a 
Christian Option,” Jan. 19 and 26). I am frustrat- 
ed that the editors chose Roth, a well-known 
scholar in Mennonite circles, to present the 
less controversial perspective and chose less 
well-known authors to present alternative views. 
Professional differences may influence not only 
writing styles but also the way readers interpret 
and react to the message. If The Mennonite is 
committed to exploring the issue of homosexu- 
ality and the church with integrity, there is no 
room for tacit influences or implicit endorse- 
ment of a particular view. Perhaps next time 
the editors should consider more carefully how 
they choose participants in the discourse. 

— Ryan J. Sauder, Pittsburgh 

I have found that within the last six months, if 
not longer, the letters to the editor seem filled 
with comments from all across the country on 
homosexuality. I have to admit I’ve become 
quite exasperated with the arguments. While I 
understand that the recent articles Qan. 19 and 
26) will probably not put an end to the debate, 

I sincerely hope that our Mennonite brothers 
and sisters will remember the love we’ve shared 
in the past and will hopefully continue to share 
in the future. Love our brethren, welcome new- 
comers to the church, uphold the Word of our 
Lord, but most of all, pray for those who have 
not yet found the blessings, grace and forgive- 
ness of our Savior, Jesus Christ. With those 
strong foundations in place and adhered to, 
the Mennonite church will surely thrive. 

— Laurel Peters-Klenda, Omaha, Neb. 

The Mennonite made a wise and courageous 
decision in addressing as it did the anguish- 
laden debate concerning homosexuality in our 
church. The conversation took place charitably 
and respectfully. Roth stood up for the tradition- 
al position self-critically. I was deeply impressed 
by the fruit of Lehman’s and Lederach’s soul 
searching. The Jan. 19 editorial’s call for 
patience and waiting is on the mark. Because 


theMennonite February 23, 1999 


the exploration of sexuality involves primal and 
often unconscious levels of response and 
because homosexuality has become the flash 
point and case study for moral conviction in our 
time, we need a long span of time to work 
through it. Having one side win over the other 
side would short-circuit the individual and cor- 
porate soul-searching which is the prerequisite 
for arriving at a spiritually and theologically 
authentic conviction. — John Rempel, New York 

The recent articles on homosexuality and the 
church should help the maturing process of the 
church with respect to homosexuality and to 
other issues as well. We often need reminders 
that God’s timetable is quite different from 
ours. There are some voices that would sacri- 
fice the church for the sake of immediacy. The 
long view, which allows for continuous dia- 
logue, mutual respect and unity, puts us in 
touch with history. During the last century, 
some denominations split over slavery, with 
both sides quoting Scripture to prove their 
point. Those Scriptures are still there and they 
have not changed. But we have changed in our 
perspective and understanding. Thanks for 
keeping to the high ground in The Mennonite. 
— Lowell Nissley, Sarasota, Fla. 

I appreciated Roth’s articles, but several others 
were very disturbing because they were based 
solely on acceptance by an experience. Our 
experiences must and will come under the 
scrutiny of the Word of God. Openness to the 
presence and power of the Holy Spirit will pro- 
duce a godly sorrow for any and all sins as we 
become aware of them and how displeasing 
they are to God. Sins must be repented of to be 
in right relationship with our wonderful Savior. 
But if we continue in sinful ways, we displease 
God and his blessing cannot be upon us. I am 
naive enough to believe that the God who 
walked the earth and changed the lives of peo- 
ple who were willing to come to him can and 
will do so today. — Earl Moyer, Sellersville, Pa. 

Unlike Roth, I don’t believe one can set per- 
sonal experience aside as a separate and lesser 
authority for the church. Through personal 
experience, we each encounter God in a 
unique balance of Scripture and tradition. 

I’m a Christian who grew up Mennonite. I’m 
also a lesbian and a baptized member of First 
Metropolitan Community Church in Wichita, 
Kan. As a part of the church, the body of 
Christ, when you hurt and deny me, you hurt 



AMBS 
LIBRARY 
ELKHART, IN 

FEB 22 *W 


theMennonite 

Vol.2, No. 8, February 23, 1999 



features 

6 Membership in Christ's church 

What does Jesus in the Gospels teach us about membership? 

8 Stand on promises, not codes of conduct 

What defines us as Mennonites? — part 1 

departments 

2 Readers say 
10 News 

Youth convention coordinator • doctoral degrees • peace for walk- 
ers 

14 Newsbriefs 

15 For the record 
20 Editorial 

No longer snakes or children of snakes 



Editor: J, Lome Peachey 
Associate editors 
Feature: Gordon Houser 
News: Rich Preheim 
Marketing: Marla J. Cole 
Advertising: Melanie Mueller 
Secretary: Dotty Anderson 
Design consultant 
Judith Rempel Smucker 


Offices: 

616 Walnut Ave. 
Scottdale, PA 15683 
theMennonite@mph.org 

722 Main St., P.O.Box 347 
Newton, KS 671 14 
theMennonite@gcmc.org 

Phone 1-800-790-2498 


theMennonite 

Incorporating Gospel Herald (1908-1998) and TheMennonite (1885-1998) 

The Mennonite seeks to serve the U.S. context of the integrating General Conference Mennonite Church and Mennonite 
Church by helping readers glorify God, grow in faith and become agents of healing and hope in the world. TheMennonite 
(ISSN 1522-7766) is published weekly on Tuesdays — except for March 30, June 29, Aug. 3 and Nov. 30 in 1999 — by the 
GC-MC Interim Periodical Board. Periodical postage paid at Scottdale, PA 15683-1999. Canada Post international publica- 
tions mail sales agreement no. 128562, GST no. R1 221 92453. Subscription rates: $34.95 (U.S.) per year. Group rates avail- 
able. The views expressed in this publication do not necessarily represent the official positions of The Mennonite, the Interim 
Periodical Board, the General Conference Mennonite Church or the Mennonite Church. 


Web site: http://www.mph.org/themennonite 


Postmaster: Send form 3579 to 616 Walnut Ave., Scottdale, PA 15683 1999. 


readers say 


and deny the church, you hurt and deny God. 
Lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgendered 
people are essential to the church — the body 
is not whole without us. We are created by 
God, who rejoices in us daily, as we live our 
lives fully . — Kirsten R. Blosser, Wichita, Kan. 


language in worship, Sunday schools, the plain Cover photo 
coat for men, uncut hair for women, the prayer by Marilyn Nolt 
veiling, divorce and remarriage and the ordina- 
tion of women, to name just a few issues? 

Now again some of the church’s members 
and conferences are behaving according to tra- 
dition: Be judgmental, throw out those who 
disagree and let the next generation ask for 
forgiveness. — J. B. Miller, Chicago 


Roth in his Jan. 26 article states that certain 
attitudes toward gays and lesbians are often 
mean-spirited, wrong and “contrary to basic 
Christian decency, and they violate the spirit and 
letter of Scripture, our Anabaptist-Mennonite 
tradition and the recent statement of the church.” 
While these attitudes may be contrary to 
Christian decency, I don’t think these mean- 
spirited and wrong attitudes violate Anabaptist- 
Mennonite traditions at all. How else do you 
explain the excommunications and church splits 
that have resulted from the use of the English 


Thank you, Paul Lederach, for your sensitive 
story (Speaking Out, Jan. 26). I request that all 
of us who profess to be Christians adopt Jesus’ 
all-inclusive way of life and extend grace to all 
gays and lesbians who come to Christ, to all 
gays and lesbians who do not come to Christ, 
to all nongays and nonlesbians who come to 
Christ and to to all nongays and nonlesbians 
who do not come to Christ. This is quite a bit 
of grace, but let’s check it out with the Master 
Grace Giver, who has promised enough for 
all —Jake Buhler, Hanoi, Vietnam 


theMennonite February 23, 1999 


3 


lers say readers say readers say 


Ending the debate: To 

allow space for discussion of 
other issues facing the church, 
this issue of The Mennonite is 
the last to publish letters in 
response to the Jan. 19 and 
26 issues on homosexuality 
and the church. 


Correction: Gwen Peachey's 
letter in the Feb. 9 issue 
should have referred to the 
video Body of Dissent. The 
name of the video was incor- 
rect in the letter. 


Roth fails to create a new direction in the homo- 
sexuality controversy. First, he quotes biblical 
passages and concludes, “Nowhere does the 
Bible speak of homosexuality in a positive 
way.” But Roth nowhere refers to Jesus Christ. 
What happened to the Christ orientation of 
Anabaptist biblical hermeneutics? Second, 

Roth acknowledges that “homosexual acts are 
not uniquely reprehensible sins.” But he does 
not explain the mystery of why Mennonites 
are not attacking other “sins” as intensely as 
we are homosexuality. I guess that if North 
American Mennonites started scrutinizing our 
economic morality based on Christ’s teaching, 
we would have to shun each other, and the 
church would be empty. Third, it is inappropri- 
ate to compare homosexuality with incest. We 
do not accept incest not because the Bible says 
so but because human beings know that it 
causes serious biological outcomes. That is why 
even in non-Christian society, people largely 
regard incest as taboo. — Shuji Moriichi, 
Stanchfield, Minn. 

My chief reaction to Roth’s explication on 
homosexuality was one of surprise. Surprise 
that The Mennonite would choose to devote so 
much of its limited space to one person’s 
defense of conference doctrine. Surprise that 
the person chosen would be Roth, a historian 
who cites neither the context nor the discus- 
sions of those who actually drafted and adopt- 
ed the resolutions on human sexuality adopted 
at Purdue and Saskatoon. 

And surprise, most of all, at the sort of his- 
tory Roth seems to be practicing. What sort of 
claim is being advanced when he declares it “a 
bad idea” for the church to overturn a tradition 
of discrimination “in the space of 10 or 20 
years”? Does Roth really believe that the desire 
of homosexual Christians for acceptance in the 
church is a function of the last two decades 
only? Or does his concern center on “the par- 
ticular cultural mood” of this desire, at odds 
with “the grand sweep of Christian history”? 

By those criteria, an initiative like the Damas- 
cus Road program to combat institutional 
racism is a bad idea as well. — Wynn M. Goering, 
Albuquerque, N.M. 

If I were a gay man, I would ask our Bible 
scholars to study the word “celibacy.” If this is 
a gift, how can the church require a gay per- 
son to be celibate? Paul writes: “I wish that all 
were as I am. But each has a particular gift 
from God, one having one kind and another a 


4 


theMennonite February 23, 1999 


different kind” (1 Corinthians 7:7). William 
Barclay comments: “Those who do not possess 
the gift [of celibacy] should marry. ... It is folly 
for one to take a vow of celibacy unless he pos- 
sesses the special gift and capacity.” 

If I were a gay man, I would ask our teach- 
ers to tell us about sexual orientation. If this is 
given to each person at birth and it is equally 
natural to be gay as straight, sexual desire 
would be the same in both, although varying 
in intensity with individuals. In 1 Corinthians 
7:3, we read, “If they have a nature naturally 
passionate, let them marry.” What is a gay 
man to do with his passions? 

If I were a gay man I would ask hetero- 
sexual couples to read Genesis 1:28. Are you 
limiting your intercourse to making babies? Is 
this not what the Bible says? If you are not 
observing this biblical injunction but engaging 
in mutual pleasure, why may not gay and les- 
bian partners engage in mutual pleasure? 

— Jacob T. Friesen, North Newton, Kan. 

Roth mentions in the discussion of sexual 
rights that “chastity is not only a human possi- 
bility but is recognized as a spiritual calling, at 
least for some people” (Jan. 26). Do we know 
that anyone in Scripture except perhaps Paul, 
Jesus and John the Baptist followed it? And 
why did the reformers Martin Luther and 
Menno Simons marry after leaving the priest- 
hood? — Larry Eby, Albany, Ore. 

Finding our way 

I commend The Mennonite and Gerald J. 
Biesecker-Mast for the excellent article “The 
Radical Mission of Teaching and Thinking” 
(Feb. 2). It was the best treatise on the impor- 
tance of Mennonite higher education I have 
seen. Inundated as we are with a Reformed 
view of Christianity in politics, TV and radio 
preaching and in many Christian colleges, this 
article pointed out anew the theological and 
practical necessity for our Mennonite colleges. 

I would suggest that The Mennonite contin- 
ue to give us articles that nurture us like this 
one instead of an overabundance of integration 
and homosexuality. The church will be served 
well by feeding it material that nurtures it in 
the Christian and Mennonite faith. When the 
church is strong in faith it will find its way 
through issues such as integration and homo- 
sexuality. But if the church reduces its think- 
ing only to these issues or any other issue, 
it can soon lose the way. — Paul M. Zehr, Lan- 
caster, Pa. 


Rosa, 

Osijek 

Station 

by Heather Smith 


Then they told me to come to Osijek 
to claim my son, but when I saw his look 
I bent over sick in the room. He smiled 
stiff & hysterical with one black eye 
staring up at me & the other, gone. 

If you could have seen him! He was my son. 
There was a hole, here, dug into his throat. 
Three sons! & all, this horror with the throat. 

& my husband after 42 years, 

who fought the Ustashe as a volunteer 

in these forests in the 2nd World War, 

shot in the head against the wall of our house! 

That is when they took me to the seashore. 

For three months I could not leave until now. 

We had a beautiful old place in Mostar 
with all the family there in summer 
to work in the harvest. There was the smell 
of sweet-grass dried & chopped in the full 
heat of the noon sun & we hauled till dusk 
stacking the hay while the girls husked corn. 
Paprika hung from corners drying red 
& bunched, the skins leathery & wrinkled. 

The blackbirds screeched beneath the pear trees 
& in the pumpkin patches. By evening 
bats would slap out from the barn rafters 
circling into the woods in fits & jerks 
against the sky full of a million stars. 

It is a long way now, so far, so far. 

There was coffee cooking on the stove, 

Marzipan sweet-balls in a china dish, 

& then the sound of shells like heat-thunder, 

& the wreck of bullets out of the grove. 

We couldn’t leave to milk the cows or hitch 
the horses we left grazing. From the cellar 
we ate black olives glistening in oil, 
onions, butter beans, & overripe plums. 

Weevils grew in the flour & the cream spoiled. 
The Chetniks came on Friday & killed everyone, 
except this one, dead in Osijek. 

I have the 7:13 train going back. 

Send me a letter from America. 

Soon I’ll be home again in Herzegovina. 

Here is my temporary address: 

Rosa 

The hotel 
The sea 

Heather Smith lives in Kalona, Iowa. She worked 
in a refugee camp in Bosnia during the war there. 



theMennonite February 23, 1999 


5 


Membership: 
Where are 
we headed? 


by John Zimmerman 


Efforts to 
establish a 
pure church 
through the 
exclusion of 
those deemed 
the sinners 
among us is 
inevitably 
based on defin- 
ing sin more 
narrowly and 
less deeply 
than Jesus did. 


Membership 

in Christ’; 


What does Jesus in the Gospels teach us about membership? 


M y reading of the Gospels is that Jesus 
taught that to the extent we consider 
ourselves part of the redeemed peo- 
ple of God, it is untenable to exclude 
others on the basis of criteria we fail to live up 
to ourselves. Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote, “The 
sword wherewith [the disciples] judge their 
brethren will fall upon their own heads.” 

When Jesus walked the earth, he was part 
of a religious tradition in which influential fac- 
tions attempted to draw boundaries between 
the righteous and the wicked. Jesus rejected 
that distinction — not on the grounds that those 
considered wicked were morally not so bad, 
but on the grounds that those who considered 
themselves righteous had also separated them- 
selves from God by their involvement in sin. 

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus broad- 
ened the definition of sin to include everyone 
by defining as outside God’s will such things 
as anger, lust, divorce and remarriage, self- 
defense, fighting lawsuits, refusing to lend 
money, storing up treasures on earth and hos- 
tility toward those who mistreat us (Matthew 
5-6) . He made clear that sin goes deep into 
the hearts of each person. 

In light of a definition of God’s will of which 
most everyone falls short, Jesus’ words late in 
that sermon follow naturally: “Do not judge, so 
that you may not be judged. For with the judg- 
ment you make, you will be judged” (Matthew 
7:l-2a). 

Jesus made this point with greatest force in 
his parable of the two men who went up to the 
temple to pray (Luke 18:9-14). The point for 
Jesus was not who was free of a sinful lifestyle 
(no one was) but who cried out to God for 
mercy. 

Essential to understanding the antagonism 
between Jesus and the Pharisees is seeing that 
the Pharisees were self-righteous in their atti- 
tude of moral superiority over others. For 
example, in the story of the notorious woman 
who entered the home of a Pharisee to wash 
Jesus’ feet, a central point is that in their blind- 


ness to their own need for divine mercy, the 
Pharisees missed out on what God wanted to 
offer all people through Jesus (Luke 7:36-50). 

The Pharisees, like most of us, sought to 
define sin in a way that allowed them to con- 
sider themselves nonsinners while allowing 
them to regard others as sinners. This helps 
explain why the Pharisees taught a more mod- 
erate form of obedience to God than Jesus did. 
Thus, Jesus could seem stricter than the Phar- 
isees (regarding, for example, wealth, divorce 
and remarriage, lust and anger) and at the 
same time offend most religious people with 
his acceptance of those who didn’t come close 
to meeting even common moral standards. 

The key to understanding this apparent contra- 
diction is that, in the eyes of Jesus, all were 
sinners, while in the eyes of the Pharisees, 
some were and they themselves weren’t. 

Efforts to establish a pure church through 
the exclusion of those deemed the sinners 
among us is inevitably based on defining sin 
more narrowly and less deeply than Jesus did. 
The goal in such an effort is to define the 
moral boundaries so that we are in and certain 
others are out. This is precisely the approach 
of the Pharisees, as depicted in the Gospels. 
The problem turns out to be not that \ve’re too 
rigid about sin but that we’re too loose about it. 

It follows from the teachings of Jesus that if 
sinners aren’t part of the church, then no one’s 
left — except Jesus himself. 

Jesus taught the inclusion of "the sinners" 
in the kingdom of God. 

Jesus was renowned — notorious even — for 
opening his arms to sinners. The Gospels make 
clear that Jesus was heavily criticized for pre- 
cisely this (e.g. Matthew 9:10-13, 11:16-19; Mark 
2:15-17; Luke 5:29-32, 7:39, 15:2, 19:7). The king- 
dom of God was the guiding image of Jesus’ 
message, and he made clear that the kingdom 
of God would include those regarded as “sin- 
ners.” As Jesus told the devout religious people 
of his day, “I tell you the truth, the tax collec- 


6 


theMennonite February 23, 1999 




tors and the prostitutes are entering the king- 
dom of God ahead of you” (Matthew 21:31b). 

Still, the argument can be made that Jesus 
was simply calling these folks to change their 
lives and he would only accept them once they 
left their sin and began to live righteously. This 
view is based on a polemic caricature of first- 
century Judaism and a desire to avoid the true 
offensiveness of Jesus’ behavior. 

After surveying first-century rabbinical writ- 
ings in his book Jesus and Judaism (Fortress, 
1985), scholar E.P. Sanders makes the case 
that such an approach would not have been 
controversial to anyone. He writes: “No one 
would have been offended if Jesus had con- 
verted quislings [e.g., tax collectors] ... and 
other ‘sinners.’ . . . Those who were zealous for 
the law, such as the Pharisees, would have 
rejoiced. The notion that the conversion of sin- 
ners was offensive to the Pharisees is, when 
thought about concretely, ridiculous.” 

There is overwhelming historical evidence 
that Jesus accepted into his group people seen 
by pious religious folk as among the worst sin- 
ners around. Jesus did not dispute their 
description of his friends, but he implied that 
those who rejected him were not so pure 
themselves. 

Jesus saw himself as bearing people's sins 
on the cross. 

Jesus seems to have seen himself as the 
bearer of people’s sins on the cross — a self- 
understanding closely connected to the suffer- 
ing servant of Isaiah 52 and 53. This bears on 
the question of membership this way: If Jesus 
bore people’s sins on the cross, then what per- 
suasive reason is there to exclude people from 
his church because of their sin? Is the suffer- 
ing of God in Christ on the cross not sufficient 
to reconcile sinners to God? 

The portrayal of Jesus as the suffering ser- 
vant carries through from the beginning of the 
Gospel narratives to their culmination in his 
suffering and death? It influences the descrip- 


tions of his birth (Matthew 1:21), his baptism 
(John 1:29) and his teachings (e.g., Mark 
10:45). Especially strong historical evidence 
comes from those passages that describe 
Peter’s confession of Jesus as the Messiah 
(Matthew 16:13-23 and parallels). In those pas- 
sages, four things happen: Peter states his 
belief that Jesus is the Messiah; Jesus then 
predicts his suffering and death; Peter 
responds by rebuking Jesus for saying this; 
and Jesus says to Peter, “Get behind me, 

Satan!” It is difficult to imagine the early 
church making up an incident in which Peter, 
a revered leader in the church, would be 
called “Satan” by Jesus. Jesus saw his death as 
central to his mission. 

The accounts of Jesus’ last supper with his 
disciples, as found in the Synoptic Gospels, 
show that the early church put great impor- 
tance on retaining Jesus’ words from the occa- 
sion. In spite of the variations in language in 
the different accounts (suggesting that they 
were passed on independently), they are unit- 
ed in recording Jesus saying that his death 
was for others (Matthew 26:28; Mark 14:24; 
Luke 22:20). 

On the cross we see the identification of 
Jesus with sinners — and of the Messiah with 
the suffering servant. Dying a criminal’s death, 
between two condemned thieves, immediately 
after the Passover, with a sign above his head 
saying, “King of the Jews,” Jesus breathed his 
last and said, “It is finished.” The reconciliation 
between God and humanity had been accom- 
plished through the vicarious suffering of the 
one who was both God and human. Was this 
not sufficient to reconcile sinners to God? 

The Bible cannot with integrity be made to 
say that Jesus taught that only some people 
were sinners while others were not. And the 
Bible cannot be made to deny that Jesus’ oppo- 
nents criticized him for his persistent accep- 
tance of sinners who had not repented to their 
satisfaction. And the Bible cannot be made to 
deny that, throughout their works, the Gospel 
writers interpret Jesus’ coming death as a 
death for the sins of others along the lines of 
the suffering servant of Isaiah 52 and 53. 

If we base our understanding of church 
membership on the teachings and actions of 
Jesus, I don’t think we have any choice but to 
welcome in Christ’s name all who are willing to 
accept his mercy into a church that considers 
itself a fellowship of forgiven sinners reconciled 
to God through the suffering of our Lord. 

John Zimmerman is pastor at Rocky Ford 
(Colo.) Mennonite Church. His article is dis- 
tilled from a longer presentation to a meeting of 
representatives from Rocky Mountain, South 
Central and Western District conferences in 
October 1998. 


On the cross 
we see the 
identification 
of Jesus with 
sinners — 
and of the 
Messiah with 
the suffering 
servant. 


theMennonite February 23, 1999 


7 



Membership: 
Where are 
we headed? 


by R. Brent Alderfer 
andVern Rempel 


Stand oil 
not codes of conduc 


What defines us as Mennonites? — part 1 

A s anger on both sides of issues like 

homosexuality, abortion and others fur- 
ther divides those in the secular com- 
munity, we are more and more sad- 
dened by our willingness to secularize the 
Mennonite church along the same lines. 

How can it be that our most passionate dis- 
cussion of what it means to be Mennonite 
turns on conduct codes and membership crite- 
ria? The same rallying cry that now ignites 
political campaigns, realigns social groups and 
engenders criminal attacks now seeks to 
define us as Mennonites. The fact that social, 
political and church agenda are converging 
should warn us that we may be joining the 
wrong crowd, especially given our legacy of 
suffering under that combination. 

The core of what we value about being 
Mennonite is much deeper than conduct codes 
and criteria. We are drawn to each other, our 
families and our faith by something more pro- 
found. We are drawn by what may be difficult 
to describe, by what we experience and share: 

A communion of Christlike spirit in life that 

That we will follow the Holy Spirit's 
leading in our lives no matter where 
it takes us is a stand. That we not 
associate with certain types of sinners 
is a code. 

doesn’t exist in what we do or have. It comes 
from a life led by the Spirit. It sets us apart 
because we look to a different place to make 
our choices. Even when a life led by Christ’s 
spirit appears to others as deprivation, we 
know the deeper peace of relationships, family 
and community based on love and service. 

What is more difficult to see, especially in 


the heat of moral argument, is that we are 
trading the mysterious immortal core of Men- 
nonite faith for more certainty in temporal 
standards, standards more publicly and politi- 
cally understandable in the world. Will those 
standards preserve the core of what makes us 
Mennonite? We think not. And we suspect the 
real anxiety over standards in the church 
comes from the creeping realization that we 
can’t have both. 

We now point to homosexuality, divorce and 
other selected sins as destroying “the fabric of 
society.” First our politicians and now our 
preachers offer this phrase as our call to arms. 
General moral decline requires firm response 
from both the law and the church, or at least 
that is what we are telling each other. It’s the 
same refrain that is bringing success to newly 
emerged suburban megachurches across the 
country. But for Mennonites, is this about sav- 
ing the fabric of society, or is it about finely 
and finally weaving ourselves into that fabric? 

Peace, joy and wholeness: For centuries Men- 
nonites stood apart from the world with a rock 
solid faith that a life led by the Holy Spirit 
brings peace, joy and wholeness in this life and 
the next. The history is inspiring: A merchant 
standing with his wares in the marketplace 
refused to kneel for the local clergy passing 
through with Communion, and he was burned 
at the stake the next day. An exiled housewife, 
inspired like many Anabaptists to believe that 
the earth is the Lord’s, returned to her home 
village and was burned to death — burned with 
her mouth full of gunpowder so she could 
offer no witness as she died. The record says 
her fellow Anabaptist truth seekers marveled 
at her obstinacy and faith. 

In that tradition we have defined ourselves 
by our stands, not by our code. That we won’t 
take another life, no matter how despicable the 
soul, is a Spirit-informed stand. That we will 
kill only for just cause is a moral and legal 


theMennonite February 23, 1999 



code. That we will follow the Holy Spirit’s lead- 
ing in our lives no matter where it takes us is a 
stand. That we not associate with certain types 
of sinners is a code. 

Codes of conduct, like all laws, are a poor 
second choice to a discerning spirit. They also 
have a poor track record in preserving morali- 
ty. Lawyers have the most highly developed 
ethical code of any profession, complete with 
disciplinary rules and disbarment, but lawyers 
get no credit for being ethical. Mennonite 
codes haven’t fared much better. From plain 
coats to coverings to no TV, we’ve strictly 
enforced them, then abandoned them over 
time. 

But living out of a faith stand rather than a 
code does not serve us well when we join the 
material world. For one thing it is not popular 
because it threatens that way of life. For anoth- 
er, there are no clear answers, so it is a contin- 
ual search for the truth. The early Anabaptists 
were called truth seekers. It actually may be 
impossible to know for sure in any given 
moment whether we are standing on the 
promises of Christ or jumping again to the 
irresistible ground of our own wants and fears. 
And what’s worse, the outside world will cruci- 
fy, in opinion, pressure and law, anyone who 
attempts the Spirit-led journey. A pacifist and a 
conspirator might both refuse to kill a terror- 
ist, and the world disdains them equally. 

It is no coincidence that our return to moral 
standards comes at the same time we join 
completely the material world, eliminating the 
last pretense of separation from it. Our 
careers, families, finances, time, vacations, 
recreation, entertainment, conversations, 
goals and aspirations are now for the most 
part indistinguishable from any other success- 
ful Christian church. We no longer have to be 
embarrassed by our differences from our 
neighbors. And we now join the world in 
excluding the unacceptable sins and working 


to save the fabric of society. 

Give to the poor and follow Jesus: So is preser- 
vation of the social fabric the foundation of the 
newly merged Mennonite Church? As charges 
of moral relativism fly, and our brothers and 
sisters of the past are excommunicated from 
the future, the righteous among us need to 
remember that for those that keep all the com- 
mandments, the next step is to give what we 
have to the poor and follow Jesus. That made 
the rich young ruler sad, and it will make us 
sad, too. 

We may have a different list of who’s in and 
who’s out of the Mennonite church if as much 
sermon time were devoted to accepting human 
sexuality, good and bad, as has been given to 
explaining how God can get a camel through 
the eye of a needle. Then maybe everyone 
who earns or keeps income or wealth in 
excess of basic life needs would need to find a 
different church or shop conferences for 
acceptability. 

It is time to go back to uncovering the core 
of the Mennonite church, not defining its rules 

It is time to go back to uncovering the 
core of the Mennonite church, not 
defining its rules of membership. 

of membership. What are the stands and com- 
mitments that create the mysterious spirit of 
community that we have, what the world can’t 
create? What are the practices of worship, con- 
frontation and discipline that foster its growth 
against overwhelming odds? What is the Men- 
nonite legacy that stands on the promises of 
Christ, the only legacy worth pursuing? 

R. Brent Alderfer is a member and Vern Rempel 
is pastor at First Mennonite Church, Denver. 
This is the first of a two-part article. 


theMennonite February 23, 1999 


news news news news news news 



Francisco 


It's in the mail 

Registration materials have 
been mailed for all ages to 
attend St. Louis 99, the joint 
convention of the General 
Conference Mennonite 
Church and Mennonite 
Church, to be held July 23- 
27. Materials were sent to all 
GC, MC and Conference of 
Mennonites in Canada con- 
gregations. 

The housing option of 
dorm rooms at the Universi- 
ty of Missouri-St. Louis is no 
longer available for conven- 
tion participants. St. Louis 
99 planners are seeking 
alternative campus housing. 
— GCMC and MC news services 


New youth convention coordinator 
wants to offer Christian advantage 


HAMPTON, Va. — Steven Francisco’s ministry 
is the result of growing up in a family with a 
drug problem. 

“My father drug us to Sunday school, he 
drug us to church, he drug us to conferences, 
to revivals,” says Francisco with a laugh. 

The late Leslie Francisco II, a Mennonite 
pastor from the Newport News-Hampton area 
of Virginia, provided the type of environment 
for his children to become believers. Now that’s 
what Francisco, a member of the pastoral team 
at Calvary Community Church in Hampton, 
wants to do for youth in the integrating church. 

“I grew up having every advantage ... to be 
Christian,” he says. “I see youth today pretty 
much left to make up their own minds.” 

Francisco, 39, has been named Mennonite 
Youth Convention coordinator, succeeding 
Carlos Romero, who has directed the past four 
youth conventions. Francisco will join Romero 
for this summer’s convention in St. Louis, July 
23-27, after which Romero will step down to 
become vice president of student services at 
Goshen (Ind.) College. 

Francisco is inheriting a program that has 
become wildly successful. Under Romero, the 
youth convention has grown from 1,800 partic- 
ipants in 1991 to 5,200 in 1997. Six thousand 
youth and sponsors are expected at St. Louis. 

While changes are always possible, Francisco 


says, he doesn’t anticipate any major revamp- 
ing. And he wants to continue the high-energy, 
spirited worship that has come to characterize 
the youth convention. 

“I kind of thought of Carlos as the Michael 
Jordan of youth conventions,” Francisco says. 
“I wonder if there are any new moves to try.” 

Says Everett Thomas, president of Menno- 
nite Board of Congregational Ministries, 
“While it is always difficult to lose such a gift- 
ed administrator, we believe Steven has the 
spiritual gifts needed to lead youth conven- 
tions during this next era.” 

Francisco’s involvement in youth minstry 
started as a sponsor of Calvary’s Mennonite 
Youth Fellowship. After he joined the pastoral 
team at Calvary in 1985, he served for awhile 
as youth pastor. While he no longer holds 
those responsibilities, Francisco still is con- 
nected. He recently created a council at Cal- 
vary to coordinate the congregation’s variety 
of youth ministries, including drama, singing, 
Boy Scouts and Sunday school. 

Among Francisco’s churchwide activities 
have been chairing the Virginia Conference 
Warwick District Council, representing the 
Mennonite Church on the Interim Ministry 
Leadership Committee and serving a special 
assignment with the African-American Menno- 
nite Association . — Rich Preheim 


Young adults to get St. Louis emphasis 


NEWTON, Kan. — Organizers of this sum- 
mer’s joint General Conference Mennonite 
Church-Mennonite Church convention in 
St. Louis are giving more attention to young 
adults than ever before. 

“We want young adults to have a place of 
priority in the church, and we hope this will 
help establish that place,” says Jill Landis, a 
student at Eastern Mennonite University, 
Harrisonburg, Va., and co-coordinator of the 
St. Louis 99 Young Adult Convention. “We 
want to make it a place where young adults 
can come together and dialogue and find 
others in the church.” 

A block of rooms in one of the downtown 
hotels has been reserved for young adults, 


and a young adult lounge will be part of the 
convention facilities. There are several 
young adult events planned in addition to 
three worship services. 

Organizers also hope to offer scholarship 
money to enable young adults to attend. A 
newsletter publicizing young adult events has 
been sent to every Mennonite congregation 
and college. “We’re working more intention- 
ally to get young adults to convention,” says 
convention staff member Ken Hawkley. 

Convention staff members plus four young 
adults from the United States and Canada 
have been meeting every six weeks by con- 
ference call to plan for the convention. 

— GCMC and MC news services 


10 


theMennonite February 23, 1999 



Cauliflower 

power 

Shanoli (right), a 
Bangladeshi farmer, 
examines a cauliflower 
patch with an agricultur- 
al extensionist. As part 
of its $500,000 response 
to last summer's devas- 
tating floods, Mennonite 
Central Committee intro- 
duced cauliflower to help 
farmers grow their own 
food. Previously an exot- 
ic vegetable found only 
in the cities, cauliflower 
is now flourishing, even 
allowing farmers extra 
to sell. MCC is also pro- 
viding wheat and plans 
to help rebuild houses. 


Goshen highest among Mennonite colleges 
in national study of doctoral recipients 


The four U.S. Mennonite four-year colleges 
rank in the top half of all schools in their class, 
according to a national survey of where doctor- 
ate recipients earned their bachelor’s degrees. 

Compared to about 550 other private liberal 
arts colleges, Goshen (Ind.) College graduates 
earned 539 doctorates between 1920 and 1995, 
the 81st highest number in the survey, 
released last year by Franklin & Marshall Col- 
lege in Lancaster, Pa. Bethel College, North 
Newton, Kan., was 158th during that time with 
298 graduates earning doctorates. Bluffton 
(Ohio) College was 212th with 197, and East- 
ern Mennonite University (EMU), Harrison- 
burg, Va., was 223rd with 185. 

The survey, however, does not take into 
account the number of each school’s graduates 
during the period surveyed. College enroll- 
ments in the private liberal arts category range 
from several hundred to several thousand. The 
study also does not include medical, law and 
other professional, nondoctoral degrees award- 
ed to bachelor-degree recipients. 

The survey also tracked doctorate recipi- 
ents by fields of study, placing them into 12 
science categories and she nonscience cate- 
gories. Goshen graduates were almost evenly 
split between doctorates in the sciences (272) 
and nonsciences (267). Bethel graduates 
leaned more toward the sciences, 160 to 138, 
while Bluffton students favored the non- 
sciences 112 to 85. EMU students preferred 


nonsciences to sciences 97 to 88. 

Among the fields of study under the sci- 
ences category were life sciences, physics and 
astronomy, chemistry, engineering, pyscholo- 
gy, economics, political science and anthropol- 
ogy. Nonsciences included English, foreign 
languages, history, other humanities and edu- 
cation. 

In the last 10 years of the study, 1986 to 
1995, 137 Goshen graduates earned doctorates 
for 75th place in the rankings. Bethel was 
169th with 66, and EMU was 184th with 61. 
Bluffton, with 32, did not make the top half of 
the list. 

During that 10-year span, 73 Goshen gradu- 
ates got their doctorates in the sciences, com- 
pared to 64 students in the nonsciences. Bethel 
graduates received 36 science and 30 non- 
science doctorates. Bluffton graduates were 19 
nonscience and 13 science, and EMU gradu- 
ates were 33 nonscience and 28 science. 

In 1995, 15 Goshen graduates were awarded 
doctorates, seven from Bethel, three from 
Bluffton and six from EMU. 

Oberlin (Ohio) College was by far the pri- 
vate liberal arts school with the most students 
going on to earn doctorates: 4,400 from 1920 
to 1995, including 959 from 1986 to 1995. Sec- 
ond place schools were Swarthmore (Pa.) Col- 
lege with 2,529 from 1920 to 1995 and Carleton 
College, Northfield, Minn., with 638 from 1986 
to 1995 . — Rich Preheim 


theMennonite February 23, 1999 


At 103, he may be 
oldest minister 

B.H. Janzen didn't want a lot 
of fuss over his birthday this 
year. 

"I appreciate it and don't 
want to put a damper on 
things, but I don't want a big 
party this year," he said. "I 
feel sorrow for people who 
have a birthday and no one 
recognizes it. In God's sight, 
everyone is as important as I." 

But not everyone has cel- 
ebrated a 103rd birthday, as 
Janzen did Jan. 25. A North 
Newton, Kan., resident, he 
may be the oldest living 
ordained Mennonite minister. 

During his 58-year 
career, Janzen pastored 
seven congregations in Okla- 
homa, Oregon, Kansas and 
Nebraska, plus served as 
field secretary for the West- 
ern District Conference and 
worked with the Old Colony 
Mennonites of Mexico. 

Janzen retired in 1974 
after eight years as pastor of 
Bethel Mennonite Church, 
Hydro, Okla . — Mennonite 
Weekly Review 


11 


news news news news news news 



Baker 


Builder columnist 
concludes race 

For 34 years, Bob Baker has 
assisted readers of Builder 
through his weekly column, 
"If I Were Teaching the Les- 
son." 

That assistance comes to 
an end with the magazine's 
Feb. 28 lesson as Baker con- 
cludes his run in Builder. 

"It's been a good race; I 
have tried to keep the faith," 
Baker writes in his last col- 
umn. "Forgive me of my mis- 
takes; praise God if this page 
of the Builder has helped you 
to teach his glorious Word, 
the Bible." 

Baker, a member of Bel- 
mont Mennonite Church, 
Elkhart, Ind., is a retired 
public school biology 
teacher. He will continue 
writing his "County Road 13" 
column for Christian Living. 


12 


Old beliefs are new lessons for walkers 

Middle East visitors get introduction to peace theology 


ISTANBUL, Turkey — To Cherese Mowers, it 
was all new: pacifism, persecution and Con- 
stantine. 

Alan Kreider, a Mennonite Board of Missions 
worker in London, recently spent three days in 
Istanbul teaching Mowers and 41 other people 
basic peace theology. He described the early 
church’s emphases on peace and community, 
the resulting persecution and Emperor Con- 
stantine’s legalization of Christianity in 312 and 
the subsequent de-emphasis on peace. 

“Why have I never learned in my church 
that Jesus taught peace and that the loss of 
this message came from Constantine’s making 
Christianity popular?” Mowers asked. 

Mowers, from Dallas, and the rest of Kreider’s 
audience were participants in the Reconciliation 
Walk, a grass-roots effort of Western Chris- 
tians visiting the Middle East to apologize for 
the misuse of the name and message of Jesus 
in the Crusades. 

In little more than a year, Kreider has intro- 
duced more than 100 Reconciliation Walk par- 
ticipants — Christians from 10 countries — to 
basic, biblical Anabaptist theology. 

“If we believe as Anabaptists that we have a 
right understanding of the message of Jesus, 
then it is incumbent upon us to share that with 

MVS adopts unit 
in Americus, Ga. 

NEWTON, Kan. — Mennonite Voluntary Service 
(MVS) is welcoming a new member to its fami- 
ly — and this one came by adoption. 

MVS has assumed most of the administra- 
tive responsibilities for the voluntary service 
unit in Americus, Ga. The unit was previously 
part of Eastern Mennonite Missions’ Voluntary 
Service program, which was closed at the end 
of 1997. The unit is sponsored by Americus 
Mennonite Fellowship. 

‘This unit has been functioning on its own 
but wanted to be part of the larger MVS struc- 
ture,” says MVS director Miles Reimer. 

MVS will provide the Americus unit with most 
administrative services and benefits. But MVS 
staff will not recruit for the Americus unit. 

“Four or five of our 30 exisiting units are 
not up to their quota of volunteers,” Reimer 
says. “We won’t recruit for a new unit as long 
as that’s the case .” — Melanie Zuercher of 
GCMC News Service 

theMennonite February 23, 1999 


others,” says Kreider, director of the Centre 
for the Study of Christianity and Culture at 
Regent’s Park College, Oxford University, in 
Oxford, England. “I don’t look at this as neces- 
sarily Anabaptist theology. I look at it as bibli- 
cal theology, which properly conveys an under- 
standing of the teachings of Jesus. And I believe 
we should take this message and allow it to 
transform our ideas of what church can and 
perhaps should be.” 

The Reconciliation Walk participants who have 
heard Kreider come from a variety of Christian 
traditions. And many of them have not heard of 
a Jesus-centered church committed to peace. 
While not all participants come away with a 
changed perspective, many do ask questions 
that had previously never entered their minds. 

“The Christian church embraced imperial- 
ism more than 1,600 years ago,” Kreider says. 
‘There has always been a faithful remnant 
present throughout all of this time, but it never 
gained much popularity in the mainstream of 
the faith. It will take many people making 
small, slow changes over a long period of time 
before we are able to find ourselves back in 
the tradition of the early church. What is truly 
exciting is that we are able to start today.” 

— Christy Risser for MBM New Service 



EMM photo by Dale D. Gehman 

Food to go 


Richard Clark of Harrisburg, Pa., stops for hot chocolate 
and a cookie from Ellen Dyer. Dyer, also from Harris- 
burg, was one of 16 adults who participated in "Taste 
and See" Jan. 29-31. The event was a condensed train- 
ing of Eastern Mennonite Missions' Youth Evangelism 
Service. YES trainings usually last three months. 


MCC starts three-year, $4.7 million response 
to Hurricane Mitch in Central America 


AKRON, Pa. — At first, things looked the same 
to Marlisa Yoder-Bontrager. 

“It had been a year and a half since I had 
been in Honduras, and now I was returning to 
the country I had grown to love,” says Yoder- 
Bontrager, a Mennonite Central Committee 
(MCC) worker in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, from 
1993 to 1997. “You didn’t have to go very far 
before seeing people on the side of the road 
looking for any place to live. You didn’t have to 
go far before realizing something was terribly 
wrong.” 

What was wrong was the devastation left by 
Hurricane Mitch in September 1998 — the worst 
hurricane to hit Central America in more than 
a century. Yoder-Bontrager recently returned 
to Honduras to assist MCC relief efforts. The 
storm destroyed much of Honduras’ and 
Nicaragua’s infrastructures and took thou- 
sands of lives. As many as 2 million people 
may have lost their homes to the flooding and 
mud slides that followed the hurricane. 

Now, MCC workers are putting in overtime 
to help recovery efforts in Mitch’s wake. 
Focusing on meeting housing and food needs 
and providing trauma counseling, MCC has 
started a long-term reconstruction initiative, 
estimated to last at least three years at a cost 
of $4.7 million. That’s the amount of money the 
agency received from donors following Mitch. 

In addition, MCC has sent more than $3 
million in material aid, such as medicine, 
health and hygiene products, and food. MCC 
has also received more than 50,000 hurricane 
relief buckets contributed by North Americans. 

“Our goal is to use material aid and cash 
resources to provide for immediate needs and 
foster long-term development,” says Jim Hersh- 
berger, who is coordinating MCC’s hurricane 
relief efforts. “Our partners in Honduras and 
El Salvador are emphasizing housing recon- 
struction, while in Nicaragua the emphasis is 
on food needs, agricultural production and 
environmental concerns. In Guatemala, MCC 
is working to establish health-care clinics as 
well as providing long-term housing.” 

MCC will spend $1.45 million to rebuild 
1,600 homes in three years in Honduras plus 
another 100 homes in El Salvador. 

Hershberger said ensuring food security is 
also a top priority. That includes supplying 
seeds and agricultural equipment and con- 
structing irrigation systems. MCC plans to 
finance nearly $1 million in agriculture-related 
recuperation over the next three years. 

In order to assist its Central American part- 
ners with the emotional and spiritual strain of 
relief and reconstruction efforts, MCC will 



A family receives a Mennonite Central Committee hurricane 
relief bucket in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. Seventy-eight 
buckets were distributed in a city school that was turned into 
a makeshift shelter for people displaced by flooding caused 
by Hurricane Mitch. North Americans contributed more than 
50,000 buckets to MCC for distribution in Central America. 


Correction: The Conference 
of Mennonites in Canada is 
one of the sponsoring agen- 
cies of Second Mile, a new 
peace program. CMC was 
omitted from a "New Con- 
gregational Peace Initiative 
Calls for Churches to Go Sec- 
ond Mile" in the Feb. 2 issue. 


provide resources for pastoral assistance and 
trauma counseling. In addition, MCC workers 
and associates from Guatemala will host trau- 
ma counseling with partners and victims 
affected by grieving. Such work will cost 
about $36,000. 

“It will take years for the people of Hon- 
duras and their neighbors in Nicaragua, El 
Salvador and Guatemala to recover from this 
terrible storm,” Yoder-Bontrager says. “But 
they will. They have a spirit more powerful 
than the storm .” — John M. Spidaliere of MCC 
News Service 


Corn bound for Honduras, not North Korea 

AKRON, Pa. — After an llth-hour decision, 40,000 bushels of corn 
donated by U.S. farmers are on their way to Honduras, not North 
Korea as originally planned. 

Mennonite Central Committee last fall conducted its first corn 
drive in five years to benefit North Koreans suffering due to a 
food shortage in that country. But facing a month-long delay in 
shipping and the expiration of their shipping license, MCC admin- 
istrators were concerned about the corn spoiling. So they decided 
to send the grain to Hurricane Mitch victims in Honduras — a 
much shorter journey than to North Korea. 

MCC will keep its commitment to North Korea by purchasing 
$100,000 worth of beans — a one-month supply — for nursery chil- 
dren in three provinces . — MCC News Service 


theMennonite February 23, 1999 


13 


>rief$ newsbriefs newsbriefs 


by the 
way ... 

The earliest Mennonite- 
Catholic dialogue in North 
America was in late 19th- 
century Ontario between 
neighbors Peter Litwiller, an 
Amish bishop, and Eugene 
Funcken, a Catholic priest, 
who became friends and 
held informal dialogues. 

— Mennonite Quarterly 
Review 


Homosexuality dialogue to continue in Alberta 

CALGARY — Before the Conference of Men- 
nonites in Alberta makes a decision about 
South Calgary Mennonite Church’s confer- 
ence status, the congregation has another 
year to dialogue with other conference mem- 
bers regarding its position on homosexuality. 

South Calgary in 1997 declared itself a 
member of the Supportive Congregations 
Network (SCN), welcoming noncelibate 
homosexuals. 

The resolution passed by the conference’s 
General Council calls on member congrega- 
tions and conference leadership to “do an in- 
depth study of what it means to be ‘People of 
God’ as we enter the 21st century.” At the 
same time, South Calgary is urged to explain 
its rationale for joining SCN. The issue will be 
revisited at the conference’s annual sessions 
in 2000. 

Meanwhile, the other two conferences of 
which South Calgary is a member — North- 
west Conference and the Mennonite Brethren 
— have instructed the congregation to repent 
of its position or leave by the end of June. 

— Canadian Mennonite 

CPT program participants' Hebron home razed 

HEBRON, West Bank — Israeli authorities on 
Feb. 4 destroyed the Hebron home of Fayez 
and Huba Jabber, who are paired with a New- 
ton, Kan., congregation through Christian 
Peacemaker Teams’ Campiagn for Secure 
Dwellings. The Jabbers are at least the third 
West Bank family in the CPT program to have 
their home destroyed. 

The Jabber family is matched with Shalom 
Mennonite Church, which is planning a 
response to the incident, including sending 
money for a new home. The Campaign for 
Secure Dwellings links Palestinian families 
with North Americans for support and 
advocacy. 


Youth work thrives in Congo despite challenges 

STRASBOURG, France — Civil and political 
unres thave made for difficult times, says the 
president of the national youth convention of 
the Mennonite Church in Congo. 

“We survive only by God’s grace in a pre- 
carious situation,” Kilembe Mabaya Shista 
recently told a gathering of Mennonite World 
Conference leaders. 

But in spite of the obstacles, he says, the 
Youth for Christ-Mennonite movement in 
Congo is working creatively and actively. The 


14 


theMennonite February 23, 1999 


Mennonite young people have made evange- 
lism a priority, setting aside Wednesdays and 
Saturdays for the task. Members also do 
home visitation, sing in choirs, compose 
songs and participate in seminars. 

“No matter what the circumstances, the 
young people are always present and active at 
all church functions,” Shista says . — MWC 
News Service 

AMBS Pastors' Week draws 188 participants 

ELKHART, Ind. — One hundred eighty-eight 
people faced their fears — from the future of 
the church to how power is used — during 
Pastors’ Week Jan. 25-28 at Associated Men- 
nonite Biblical Seminary, Elkhart. 

The two primary presenters were Leonard 
Sweet, a United Methodist pastor, historian 
and futurist, and Anne Stuckey, minister of 
congregational leadership for Mennonite Board 
of Congregational Ministries. Sweet addressed 
changes in technology and media for min- 
istry, while Stuckey focused on fears such as 
use and abuse of power, anger and lawsuits. 

Workshops covered topics such as finding 
a next pastorate, humor and health, and fail- 
ing marriages. 

Drought-plagued Brazil gets MCC assistance 

TACAIMBO, Brazil — As the northeastern 
Brazilian state of Pernambuco enters its third 
year of drought, Mennonite Central Commit- 
tee (MCC) is continuing to help sustain life in 
the region, one of the poorest in the country. 

MCC is providing 16 tankloads of water a 
week in Tacaimbo, to be distributed at 25 cis- 
terns throughout the area. The cisterns were 
built with MCC assistance in the late 1980s. 
MCC is also planning to dig six wells in the 
coming months, which will cost $8,400. 

In addition, two metric tons of corn seed 
and beans will be sent to Tacaimbo, while 
another 2 1/2 metric tons of beans and 1,200 
kilograms of corn seed will to go to start a 
seed bank . — MCC News Service 

Choice Books sets sales record in 1998 

HARRISONBURG, Va.— Choice Books sold a 
record 2.38 million books in 1998, the 13th 
consecutive year of sales growth. 

Choice Books, once an outreach of Menno- 
nite Board of Missions, is owned and operat- 
ed by seven regional distributors. More than 
4,000 book displays are maintained in air- 
ports, stores and military bases across the 
country. 


e record for the record for the record 


Events 

Mennonite Central Commit- 
tee Central States annual 
meeting, Feb. 28, Memorial 
Road Mennonite Brethren 
Church, Oklahoma City. Theme: 
"Faces of a Caring Christ." 
"Hospitality and the Vital 
Church" workshop, March 6, 
Harrisonburg, Va. Contact: Marilyn 
Miller, 303-499-1565, or Ed Bon- 
trager, 757-595-6889. 
"Churches That Work: The 
Missional Church in a World of 
Need" conference, March 11-13, 
Eastern Mennonite Seminary, 
Harrisonburg, Va. Sponsored by 
the John Coffman Center for 
Church Planting and Evangelism, 
Eastern Mennonite Missions, 
Mennonite Board of Missions, 
Virginia Mennonite Conference 
and New Life Ministries. Contact: 
Linford L. Stutzman, 540-432- 
4206 or stutzmal@emu.edu. 


"Pluralism and Community: 

Conversations on the Calling and 
Character of Anabaptist-Menno- 
nites for Beginning the 21st Cen- 
tury" conference, March 24-26, 
Laurelville Mennonite Church 
Center, Mount Pleasant, Pa. Con- 
tact: info@laurelville.org or 800- 
839-1021. 

The Giving Project Gather- 
ing, April 9-10, First Mennonite 
Church, Denver. Contact: 
GivingProject@Prodigy.net or 
888-406-9773. 

The Giving Project Gather- 
ing, April 16-17, Eastern Men- 
nonite Seminary, Harrisonburg, 
Va. Contact: 888-406-9773 or 
GivingProject@Prodigy.net. 
Assembly Mennonite Church, 
Goshen, Ind., 25th anniversary 
celebration, April 17-18. Contact: 
assemblymenn@juno.com or 
219-534-4190. 


— 

Summer 

Institutes 

in Youth Ministry 
and in Spiritual Formation 

June 7-18 

Two outstanding programs. 
Academic credit available. 

Call 1-800-710-7871 
or e-mail: yoderda@emu.edu 

Eastern 
Mennonite 
Seminary 

A Graduate Division of 
Eastern Mennonite University 
Harrisonburg, VA 22802 



Workers 

Bartel, Floyd, has retired as 
associate conference minister for 
Western District Conference. 
Dow, Lenard, Philadelphia, is 
beginning a five-year assign- 
ment with Mennonite Central 
Committee (MCC) in Philadelphia 
as a program coordinator. 
Flickinger, Deanne, Newton, 
Kan., is beginning a three-year 
assignment with MCC in 
Nicaragua as a community ser- 
vice worker. 

Iverson, Mike and Shari, 

Evanston, III., are beginning two 
and a half-year assignments 
with MCC in Whitesburg, Ky., 
Mike as a community service 
worker and Shari as an adminis- 
trative assistant. 

Kanagy, Curtiss L„ has con- 
cluded a pastorate at East 
Swamp Mennonite Church, 
Quakertown, Pa. 

Kern, Marilyn, has concluded a 
pastorate at Oak Park (III.) Men- 
nonite Church. 

Lantz, Mervin, Lancaster, Pa., 
is beginning a two-year assign- 
ment with MCC in Akron, Pa., as 
a processing supervisor for Ten 
Thousand Villages. 

Michaels, Paul, has begun a 
pastorate at East Swamp Menno- 
nite Church, Quakertown, Pa. 


Miller, Jon and Wendy, 

Atwater, Ohio, are beginning 
three-year MCC assignments in 
Uganda, Jon in community 
development and Wendy in agri- 
cultural education. 

Peterson, Carol and Ken, are 
beginning pastorates at Dover 
(Ohio) Christian Fellowship. 
Rheinheimer,Jan, was 
ordained Jan. 10 as co-pastor at 
Mountain Community Menno- 
nite Church, Palmer Lake, Colo. 
Schrag, Barbara, Freeman, 
S.D., is beginning a two-year 
assignment with MCC in Free- 
man as MCC Central States 
Northern Tier regional associate. 
Shank, Michael, Apple Creek, 
Ohio, is beginning a one-year 
assignment with Mennonite Vol- 
untary Service in Seattle as a 
staff person for the Puget Sound 
Alliance. 

Thieszen, Sara, Henderson, 
Neb., is beginning a three-year 
assignment with MCC in Wash- 
ington, D.C., as activity and office 
support staff. 

Wenger, Michael, Ephrata, 

Pa., is beginning a two-year 
assignment with MCC in Akron, 
Pa., as a stock coordinator for Ten 
Thousand Villages. 

Zaes, Elizabeth, has begun a 
pastorate at Mennonite Commu- 
nity Church, Fresno, Calif. 


Births 

Boehm, Jonah William, Jan. 
8, to Ray Boehm and Twila 
Lebold, Waterloo, Ont. 
Christner, Emily Marie, Jan. 
28, to Renee (Helmkamp) and 
Tim Christner, Shipshewana, Ind. 
Cowles, Caleb Norris, Jan. 30, 
to John and Pam (Koch) Cowles, 
Pulaski, Iowa. 

Ewert, August Nikolai Rem- 
pel, Dec. 26, to Angela and Bret 
Rempel Ewert, Cartwright, 
Labrador. 

Geiser, Elizabeth Grace, Jan. 
5, to Karen (Gerber) and Olin 
Geiser, Orrville, Ohio. 
Hershberger, Noah Andrew, 

Jan. 24, to Joe and Marjorie 
(Coblentz) Hershberger, Hartville, 
Ohio. 

Hochstetler, Abigail Rose, 

Dec. 30, to Jerry and Linda (Chil- 
dress) Hochstetler, Mishawaka, 
Ind. 

LaLoge, Alexis Lynn, Jan. 25, 
to Bethany (Reed) and Sterling 
LaLoge, Lamar, Colo. 

Martin, Olivia Grace, Jan. 5, 
to Jerry and Mary (Stouffer) Mar- 
tin, Lancaster, Pa. 

Miller, Olivia Joy, Jan. 26, to 
Brent and Marcy (Swartzendru- 
ber) Miller, Staten Island, N.Y. 
Murray, Meghana Joy, born 
April 20, 1997, received for adop- 
tion Dec. 17, 1998, to John and 
Krista (Miller) Murray, Topeka, 

Ind. 


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15 



the record for the record for the record 


Reschly, Reese Thomas, Jan. 
27, to Jackie (Bontreger) and 
Tom Reschly, Goshen, Ind. 

Rush, Leah JoAnne, Dec. 17, 
to Debra and Marc Rush, Quaker- 
town, Pa. 

Schlabach, Collin Reed, Jan. 
12, to Lawrence and Ruth 
(Schrock) Schlabach, Iowa City, 
Iowa. 

Stuckey, Madison Jo, Jan. 18, 
to Barb (Roth) and Phil Stuckey, 
Archbold, Ohio. 

Walkup, Kimberly Jo, Jan. 14, 
to Ben and Renee (Roth) Walkup, 
Stryker, Ohio. 

Yeakey, Hannah Marie 
Nofziger, Jan. 25, to Kathleen 
(Nofziger) and Michael Yeakey, 
Cheraw, Colo. 

Correction: In the Feb. 2 births, 
Micah Angel Miller was born July 
28, 1997, received for adoption 
Dec. 18, 1998. 


Marriages 

Flaming/Grant: Bill Flaming, 
Inman, Kan., and Amy Grant, 
McPherson, Kan., Jan. 30 at Hoff- 
nungsau Mennonite Church, 
Inman. 

Springer/Tovey: Fannie 
Springer, Archbold, Ohio, and 
Paul Tovey, Archbold, Jan. 16 at 
Zion Mennonite Church, Archbold. 

Deaths 

Boshart, Feme Weller, 93, 

Goshen, Ind., died Jan. 29. 
Spouse: Walter Boshart. Parents: 
John and Eva Gertrude Pinkerton 
Weller (deceased). Other sur- 
vivors: stepchildren Jean Stucky, 
James, Richard; seven step- 
grandchildren; nine stepgreat- 
grandchildren. Funeral: Jan. 31 
at Goshen, Ind. 


Brubaker, Esther Oberholtzer, 

82, Lancaster, Pa., died Jan. 5. 
Spouse: Aaron Brubaker. Parents: 
Elmer and Alta Oberholtzer 
(deceased). Other survivors: chil- 
dren Mark, Glen, Fred, Lynn, Jere, 
Omer, Alta, Dean, Deb, Deana 
Erdman; 18 grandchildren; three 
great-grandchildren. Funeral: 

Jan. 9 at Willow Street (Pa.) 
Mennonite Church. 

Eisenhour, Jay, 53, Goshen, 
Ind., died Jan. 30 of a stroke. 
Spouse: Sue Yoder Eisenhour. 
Parents: Roy and Grace Miller 
Eisenhour. Other survivors: chil- 
dren Jed, Tex, Sid; one grand- 
child. Funeral: Feb. 3 at Eighth 
Street Mennonite Church, 
Goshen. 

Franz, Harold, 81, Wichita, 
Kan., died Jan. 20. Spouse: 
LaVona Franz. Parents: Henry 
and Anna Ewert Franz (deceased). 
Other survivors: children Dennis, 
Diane Genova; stepchildren Gary, 
Carol Hill, Linda King, Sherry 
Unruh; two grandchildren; eight 
stepgrandchildren; one step- 
great-grandchild. Memorial ser- 
vice: Jan. 23 at Lorraine Avenue 
Mennonite Church, Wichita, and 
Feb. 6 at Menno Mennonite 
Church, Ritzville, Wash. 

Grieser, Jennie Henschen, 
57, Archbold, Ohio, died Jan. 14 
of cancer. Spouse: Ralph Grieser. 
Parent: Esther Henschen. Other 
survivors: children Ann Marie 
Olmstead, Todd; two grandchil- 
dren. Funeral: Jan. 17 at Zion 
Mennonite Church, Archbold. 
Groff, Anna Mae, 73, Ephrata, 
Pa., died Feb. 1. Parents: Henry 
and Ella Stoner Groff (deceased). 
Funeral: Feb. 5 at Ephrata (Pa.) 
Mennonite Church. 

Hjelmstad, Harold Kenneth, 
81, Golden, Colo., died Jan. 31 of 
a heart attack. Spouse: Doris 
Shenk Hjelmstad. Parents: John 
and Mary Hjelmstad (deceased). 
Other survivors: children Shirley 
Hostetler, Sharon Marner, Ken, 
Rick; six grandchildren; one 
great-grandchild. Funeral: Feb. 3 
at Crown Hill Chapel, Lakewood, 
Colo. 


Hunsberger, William, 94, 

East Pikeland Township, Pa., died 
Feb. 1 of pneumonia. Spouse: 
Waneta Shenk Hunsberger. Par- 
ents: Martin and Emma Jane Jones 
Hunsberger (deceased). Other 
survivors: children Ray, Phillip, 
June Nafziger, Jane; 12 grand- 
children; 25 great-grandchildren. 
Funeral: Feb. 5 at Vincent Men- 
nonite Church, Spring City, Pa. 
Jantzi, Eunice Zehr, 58, 

Beaver Falls, N. Y., died Feb. 2 of 
cancer. Parents: Christian and 
Martha Moser Zehr (deceased). 
Survivors: children Todd, Kara 
McIntosh, Anne Maria; one 
grandchild. Funeral: Feb. 6 at 
First Mennonite Church of New 
Bremen, N. Y. 

Knechtel, Matthew, 9, 
Bloomingdale, Ont., died Dec. 11 
of congenital heart condition. 
Parents: Wayne and Cathy 
Knechtel. Funeral: Dec. 14 at 
Breslau (Ont.) Mennonite Church. 
Mininger, Emma Florence, 
83, Quakertown, Pa., died Dec. 2. 
Spouse: Raymond Mininger. Par- 
ents: Samuel and Anna Overholt 
Trauger (deceased). Other survivors: 
children Marion Mae Clymer, 
Stanley, Ruth Mindler, David; 10 
grandchildren; six great-grand- 
children. Funeral: Dec. 5 at 
Swamp Mennonite Church, 
Quakertown. 

Neuhouser, Lorraine, 80, Fort 
Wayne, Ind., died Jan. 3 of a stroke. 
Funeral: Jan. 7 at Churubusco, 

Ind. 

Ramseyer, Charles, 74, Pulas- 
ki, Iowa, died Dec. 31 of pul- 
monary fibrosis. Spouse: Lois 
Ramseyer. Parents: Sam and 
Maude Hartzler Ramseyer 
(deceased). Other survivors: chil- 
dren Larry, Dennis, Paul; six 
grandchildren; one great-grand- 
child. Funeral: Jan. 3 at Pulaski 
(Iowa) Mennonite Church. 
Roulet, Samuel, 72, Bloom- 
field, Iowa, died Dec. Hof heart 
and kidney failure. Spouse: Mil- 
dred. Parents: Sam and Fannie 
Roulet (deceased). Other sur- 
vivors: children Kenneth, Keith; 
two grandchildren. Funeral: Dec. 
17 at Bloomfield, Iowa. 


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Canadian Rockies June 19 - July 15 

Banff, Columbia Icefields, Butchart Gardens are beautiful. 
Enjoy the farms of BC, Mennonite and Hutterite people. 

Alaska Tour/Cruise July 19-31 

The 49th state by air, rail, bus and cruise ship. View 
glaciers, oil pipeline; enjoy salmon bake and Inside Passage. 

Maritime Provinces August 10 -20 

Cruise the Bay of Fundy, encircle the Cabot Trail; Anne of 
Creen Gables drama and farm tour in New Brunswick. 

Northeast US Sept. 27 - Oct. 9 

Enjoy history and color of Philadelphia, NYC and New 
England. Lancaster's PA Dutch and the nation's capitol. 

Churchill Polar Bears Oct. 9 -16 

Tundra Buggy ride to view migrating polar bears. 


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Weaver, Esther Mae Burk- 
holder, 88, Ephrata, Pa., died 
Dec. 4 of an aneurysm. Spouse: 
Titus Weaver (deceased). Parents: 
Frank and Minnie Burkholder 
(deceased). Survivors: children 
Arlene Stauffer, Robert, Evelyn 
Witmer, Pauline Boll, Romaine 
Huber, Joyce Mummau; 24 
grandchildren; 12 great-grand- 
children. Funeral: Dec. 7 at Hess 
Mennonite Church, Lititz, Pa. 
Weaver, Ralph, 73, Boswell, 
Pa., died Jan. 28 of a rare blood 
disorder. Spouse: Grace Shaffer. 
Parents: Benjamin and Rebecca 
Miller Weaver (deceased). Other 
survivor: son Russell. Funeral: 
Jan. 31 at Thomas Mennonite 
Church, Hollsopple, Pa. 

Weber, Oliver, 84, Kitchener, 
Ont., died Dec. 18. Spouse: 
Almeda Snyder Weber. Parents: 
Allen and Sarah Weber 
(deceased). Other survivors: chil- 
dren Ken, Ross, Edward, Paul, 
Ralph. Funeral: Dec. 21 at 
Bloomingdale (Ont.) Mennonite 
Church. 

Wyse, Nellie Schmucker, 74, 

Archbold, Ohio, died Jan. 19. 
Spouse: Warren Wyse. Parents: 
Myron and Herma Schmucker 
(deceased). Other survivors: chil- 
dren Jerry, Ronald, Kenneth, 
Sandra Miller, Cynthia Preston; 

15 grandchildren; eight great- 
grandchildren. Funeral: Jan. 22 
at Lockport Mennonite Church, 
Stryker, Ohio. 

Yoder, Elda Kaufman, 93, 

Hollsopple, Pa., died Dec. 4. 
Spouse: Ammon Yoder 
(deceased). Parents: Noah and 
Malinda Kinsinger Kaufman 
(deceased). Survivors: children 
Noah, Dorothy Shetler, Twilla 
Thomas, Paul, Bernice Alwine, 
Emma Mae Alwine, Marlin, Erma 
Kauffman, Merle; 31 grandchil- 
dren; 51 great-grandchildren; 
two great-great-grandchildren. 
Funeral: Dec. 7 at Blough Men- 
nonite Church, Hollsopple. 


16 


theMennonite February 23, 1999 




classifieds 


• Menno Haven Camp and Retreat Center, located in central Illinois, 
seeks an executive director, lor a job description, contact Doug Roth, 309- 
263-8933, or Wanda Bouwman, 630-427-1317. 

• Mennonite/Amish heritage tour directed by Peter Wiebe and Vi 
Unruh, May 25-June 8, 1999. Leaving from Yoder, Kan., and stopping in Mis- 
souri, Iowa, Indiana, Illinois, Ontario, Pennsylvania and Washington DC. Cost 
$1,097. Call 800-364-2320. 

• Hope Mennonite Church, Wichita, Kan., seeks a half-time director 
of ministry development To learn more about this exciting opportunity, 
please contact Search Committee, 868 N. Maize Road, Wichita, KS 67212; 
316-722-0903; fax 316-722-5173. 

• Wilderness Wind Camp, Ely, Minn., seeks summer staff and vol- 
unteers: trip leaders (leading 5- to 7-day canoe trips), base camp staff, and 
maintenance/grounds workers. Positions available 1-15 weeks. Contact 
Kathy Landis, 316-283-5132. 

• Maplewood Mennonite Church seeks a 1/3-time music director 

with some worship planning responsibilities. Send resumes by Feb. 25, 1999, 
to Maplewood Mennonite Church, attn. Judy Stauffer, 41 29 Maplecrest Road, 
Fort Wayne, IN 46815. 

• First Mennonite Church of Indianapolis seeks a half-time asso- 
ciate pastor with broad pastoral duties and a focus on young adults and 
youth. Position available May 1 . Women and minorities especially encour- 
aged to apply. Please contact Search Committee, First Mennonite Church, 
4601 Knolton Road, Indianapolis, IN 46228; 317-251-1980. 

• Laurelville Mennonite Church Center is seeking counselors and 
recreation, music and craft directors for its summer camps, June 27- 
July 8. You may select the camp or camps with which you would like to 
work, and you may join the staff for either one or two weeks. Three-month 
summer positions are also available in maintenance, dining hall and kitchen. 

Call 800-839-1021 or 724-423-2056 for application materials. 

• Single and Single Again retreat will be held April 16-18, 1999, at 
Laurelville Mennonite Church Center. This year's theme is "Singles in the 
Church: Blessings and Burdens." The retreat is designed as a safe and relax- 
ing weekend of sharing, praise and renewal for people widowed, never mar- 
ried, or single from separation or divorce. Leader: Rhoda Schrag. Call 800- 
839-1021 or 724-423-2056 for registration information. 


• Souderton Mennonite Church seeks a full time minister of wor 
ship and outreach. Qualifications include solid commitment to Anabaptist 
theology, passion for worship and skills in organizing people for outreach 
ministry. Not a preaching assignment. 

5end resume to Souderton Mennonite Church, attn. Leadership Search 
Committee, 105 W. Chestnut St„ Souderton, PA 18964. 

• First Mennonite Church is a mature, General Conference congrega- 
tion of 225 members situated near downtown Saskatoon. We are in need of 
a full-time experienced associate pastor with an Anabaptist foundation. 
This person will have strong gifts in teaching, leadership and outreach; will 
be Spirit -filled, highly motivated with good interpersonal skills; will have the 
ability to reach out to the broader community, especially younger genera- 
tions. 

Please send resumes to Search Committee, c/o Albert Warkentin, 
112-2305 Adelaide St. East, Saskatoon, SK S7J 5H6. 

• Rainbow Mennonite Church (Kansas City, Kan.), a talented, diverse, 
growing urban church (175 members), seeks a new pastor(s) to begin Sep- 
tember 1999. The congregation has identified five areas (in ranked order) as 
the most important: preaching/worship leadership, teaching, spirituality, cri- 
sis pastoral visitation, and community activities. The gift of encouraging 
openness and inclusiveness in relating to congregational diversity is expect- 
ed, as well as a strong commitment to Anabaptist teachings. 

Please contact, by March 9, Karen Goering Hostetler, 1305 Ruby, Kansas 
City, KS 66103-1043; 913-371-3057; email kghcvh@gvi.net. 

• Worldwide Gifts/Ten Thousand Villages/SHARE has a part-time 
professional job opportunity as education coordinator, responsible for 
assisting store's manager with outreach, education and Christian mission 
projects within the store and in the surrounding community of Champaign- 
Urbana, III.; approximately 10 hrs./week; flexible schedule and hourly wage 
to be negotiated. 

Contact Naomi Rempe, manager, 217-352-8200; or write Worldwide 
Gifts, 105 N. Walnut, Champaign, IL 61820. 

• Penn View Christian School is seeking a certified guidance coun- 
selor beginning in the 1999-2000 school year. This full-time position 
involves relating to students, parents and teachers in a kindergarten through 
8th grade setting. Experience desired. Penn View serves 560 students in 
southeastern Pennsylvania. 

Send resume to Robert Rutt, Penn View Christian School, 420 Cowpath 
Road, Souderton, PA 18964. 


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theMennonite February 23, 1999 


17 


classifieds 


Classified advertising 
space in The Menno- 
nite is available to 
congregations, con- 
ferences, businesses, 
and churchwide 
boards and agencies. 
Cost for one-time 
placement is $1.10 
per word, minimum 
of $30. To place a 
classified ad in The 
Mennonite, call 800- 
790-2498 and ask for 
Melanie Mueller. 


• Mennonite Mutual Aid is seeking a programmer/analyst to 

develop, implement and design information systems in our IBM AS/400 and 
PC-LAN environment. Qualifications include bachelor's degree or equivalent 
experience; experience in or ability to learn programming languages, sys- 
tems analysis, design and project management; and good interpersonal 
skills. MMA offers a positive, smoke-free work environment and an excellent 
benefit package. 

Send or fax resume to Mennonite Mutual Aid, Human Resources Dept., 
P.0. Box 483, Goshen, IN 46527; (fax) 219-533-5264. 

• The Conference of Mennonites in B.C. requires a full-time con- 
ference minister to minister to, be a support for and resource to pastors of 
B.C. churches. The conference minister should also be available to congrega- 
tions for counsel pertaining to their pastoral needs. Although primary 
responsibilities are pastoral, the conference minister will also be the coordi- 
nator of conference direction and of the conference office. The position will 
begin Sept. 1,1999. 

Please submit application with resume and request for job description 
to George Hoeppner, chair of search committee, 2191 Maywood Ct„ Abbots- 
ford, BC V2S 4Y9; 604-853-0829 (H); 604-856-8454 (0); fax 604-856-8436. 

• Pleasant View Homes, Inc., is opening a four-person retirement 
home for adults with developmental disabilities in Harrisonburg, Va., sched- 
uled to open April 1, 1999. Applications are being accepted for the following 
positions: program coordinator, residential instructor, full - and 
part-time residential aides. Duties will include direct care, community 
integration, training and case coordination for each resident, as well as 
maintaining the living environment of the home. Applications will be 
accepted until positions are filled. 

Contact Jane M. Sellers, director of ICF/MR Services, 1631 Virginia Ave., 
Harrisonburg, VA 22802. E0E 

• Mennonite Mutual Aid has openings for regional vice presidents 

to manage regional offices. Responsible to develop the region by establish- 
ing and achieving sales and customer satisfaction goals in conjunction with 
corporate needs, to recruit and select new sales counselors, and to provide 
regional financial management including office budget. Qualified candidates 
will have a bachelor's degree (MBA desired); proven management experi- 
ence (preferably in sales); strong interpersonal skills with the ability to 
supervise and motivate others; ability to become licensed in life and health 
insurance and securities; sales experience desired; active member of an 
Anabaptist congregation essential. Compensation is base salary plus bonus. 

Send or fax resume to Mennonite Mutual Aid, Human Resources Dept., 
P.0. Box 483, Goshen, IN 46527; (fax) 219-533-5264. 

• Dock Woods Community, a not-for-profit continuing-care retire- 
ment community, located in Lansdale, Pa., and sponsored by the Franconia 
Mennonite Conference, is currently seeking a full-time chaplain. The posi- 
tion is responsible for providing residents with spiritual guidance and assis- 
tance. The chaplain coordinates, plans and conducts worship services, devo- 


MennoLink 


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tions and prayer meetings for Dock Woods Community. In addition, the 
chaplain is responsible for visiting and spiritual counseling of residents. 
Requirements for the position include a seminary degree and some training 
in Clinical Pastoral Education. 

Interested applicants should contact Renee Bickel in the Human 
Resources Dept., 215-368-4438. 

• Pleasant View Homes, Inc., needs a part-time personnel coordi- 
nator to organize and maintain personnel files. Responsibilities would 
include placing advertisements for employment, screening applications for 
employment, orientation of new staff, keeping current on employment and 
labor laws, maintaining organization personnel policies and procedures, 
assisting director of administrative services with benefit change and staff 
changes. Bachelor's degree in related field and personnel experience pre- 
ferred. Applications will be accepted until position is filled. 

Contact Director of Administrative Services, Pleasant View Homes Inc., 
P.O.Box 426, Broadway, VA 22815. EOE 

• Elizabethtown Mennonite Church, Elizabethtown, Pa., seeks a 
full-time pastor and a full-time associate pastor to shepherd a congrega- 
tion of approximately 225 members. We are a member of the Lancaster Con- 
ference of Mennonite Churches and have an active interest in mission. The 
congregation's membership is diversified in its interests and occupations. 
Candidates should have a college degree and the senior pastor also have 
seminary training. 

Please respond by letter and resume to David Leaman, 53 Woodbine 
Drive, Hershey, PA 17033. 

• Second Mile seeks a part-time project editor for new North Ameri- 
can congregational peace program designed by Mennonites and Church of 
the Brethren to help congregations take deliberate steps in peace witness. 
Applicants should have background in Anabaptist peace theology, familiarity 
with Anabaptist constituencies, expertise in writing and editing curriculum, 
grasp of different learning styles, experience in organizing and leading proj- 
ects. Responsibilities include refining format, developing writers' workshop, 
directing and working with writers, editing manuscripts. 

Inquiries and application requests due by March 15, 1999 to Doug Kreh- 
biel, General Conference Mennonite Church, 722 Main St., P.O. Box 347, New- 
ton, KS 67114; 316-283-5100; email dougk@gcmc.org. Applications due 
March 31, 1999. Position begins April 30, 1999. Women and people of color 
are encouraged to apply. 


Mennonites 

meet in the 

pages of... 



Open the magazine to find: 

•UpClose profiles •Faith&Life features 
•Conversations with readers 
•News about Mennonites in Canada and beyond 

Order your subscription today. 

Canadian Mennonite, 312 Marsland Drive 
Waterloo, Ontario N2J 3Z1 Canada 
Phone: 1-800-378-2524 Fax: (519) 884-3331 
E-mail: circul@canadianmennonite.org 


18 


theMennonite February 23, 1999 





Do not neglect 
to show hospitality to 


strangers, 


for by doing that 
some have entertained 

angels 

without knowing it. 
Hebrews 13:2 


Early this century, Mennonites came 

together to assist others half a world away. 
When these refugees came into their 
midst, they discovered sisters and 
brothers, neighbors and friends, and 
new expressions of God’s love. 



Ana Gloria and her daughter 
fled the death squads in El 
Salvador. Today she works as 
a farm hand, trying to make 
a better life for her family. 

At the end of the century, 
we again face the challenge 
of ministering to those, like 
Ana Gloria, looking for new 
lives in our communities. And 
again we face the opportunity 
to receive God’s messengers in 
the form of strangers. 

Mennonite Central Committee 
seeks to assist Mennonite and 
Brethren in Christ congrega- 
tions and individuals who want 
to welcome the newcomer. To 
learn more about Ana Gloria’s 
story, contact MCC and request a 
copy of Between Two Worlds, a 
new MCC video on immigration. 



Mennonite 

Central 

Committee 


Mennonite Central Committee 

21 South 12th Street 
PO Box 500 
Akron, PA 17501-0500 
(717) 859-1151 
MCC Canada 
134 Plaza Drive 
Winnipeg, MB R3T 5K9 
(204) 261-6381 
toll free (888) 622-6337 


Russian refugees, circa 1920. 


rial editorial editorial editorial 

“ » cuiw mcts CUI. ™ aw **«*********************** CAR _ RT s0RT**C-023 



<16794> 

.400203 5 1C * 

LIBRARY 

ASSOC MENN BIBLICAL SEM 

3003 BENHAM AVE 

ELKHART IN 46517-1999 

1.3..3, II, .Jllml,. .111,1. ,1.1. ,1.1. ,11 II..II..I 


34 

64 


No longer snakes or children of snakes 


As a Christian most of my life, I hate to admit 
it, but I have a great deal of uneasiness when I 
read the Gospels. What bothers me most are 
J. Lome Peachey Jesus’ tussles with the Pharisees. 

They begin with arguments, mostly about 
fine points of the law. They graduate to the 
Pharisees setting traps for Jesus and eventual- 
ly plotting to kill him. Jesus retaliates by call- 
ing the Pharisees “hypocrites,” then “white- 
washed tombs” or “unmarked graves” and 
eventually “snakes” and “children of snakes.” 

‘Wow,” I tell myself. “I’m glad I wasn’t a 
Pharisee.” Then I remember this is precisely 
the kind of thinking Jesus trounced so roundly 
in the story of the tax collector and the reli- 
gious leader (Luke 18:10-14). 

Whenever I read that story, I want to identi- 
fy with the tax collector more than with the 
Pharisee. Or with the woman caught in adul- 
tery more than with her accusers in that story 
Qohn 8:3-11). Or with the man born blind more 
than with the temple tribunal Qohn 9:1-34). 

But in her book We Are the Pharisees (Her- 
ald Press, 1995) , Kathleen Kern reminds us 
that the average Pharisee was just like the 

We must always be aware that, with taking stands and mak- 
ing declarations about truth, come temptations to believe 
that the way we have figured things out is the only way. 

average churchgoing North American: “no 
more hardhearted, unloving or hypocritical.” 
Both Pharisees and churchgoers feel strongly 
about beliefs and want to please God. But both 
can also become so caught up in the details of 
religious life that we forget or ignore the real 
presence of God in our midst. 

That’s why I return often to the Gospels, 
even though I find them uncomfortable. Here 
I’m forced to consider and reconsider this 
statement from Jesus: “I have come to call sin- 
ners to turn from their sins, not spend my time 
with those who think they are already good 
enough” (Luke 5:32, New Living Translation). 

Ironically, it is also the action of a Pharisee 
that shows me what this means. Nicodemus, a 
religious leader, a teacher, one who also want- 
ed to serve God, sneaked off to Jesus with a 


question, intense but unspoken, “What must I 
do to be saved?” In that question he acknowl- 
edged that all his beliefs and practices were 
not enough. He was a sinner. He needed help. 

That is a point we must all come to — daily. 
We cannot figure things out on our own. When 
we try, we become self-centered, self-righ- 
teous, egotistical, proud. Says Kern: “No matter 
what our intentions might be, any good deed 
or quality almost inevitably degenerates into 
something petty or even wicked. Earnest desires 
to follow God’s will in all aspects of our life can 
swiftly become legalistic. Desires to do the right 
thing become self-righteousness. Desires for 
purity become exclusiveness or snobbery.” 

As Christians today, we are pushed from all 
sides to take stands, to declare ourselves, to be 
disciples of truth. That is surely necessary 
when so much and so many seem to be with- 
out borders, mores or convictions. But we must 
always be aware that, with taking stands and 
making declarations about truth, come tempta- 
tions to believe that the way we have figured 
things out is the only way. From there it is a 
short step to defending our truth no matter 
what. This makes us snakes, in Jesus’ descrip- 
tions of the Pharisees, concerned primarily 
with protecting ourselves and our truth. 

This is not a call to give up our sense of 
what is true, to take on false humility or to 
flagellate ourselves with our sins. Many among 
us surely need to have more of a sense of 
Oself-worth and of being valuable children of 
God. But we must put our best efforts into per- 
spective, realizing that even in our good are 
the seeds of evil. This is part of what it means 
to be human. 

Like Nicodemus, we must also hear Jesus’ 
words of correction: “The Holy Spirit gives 
new life from heaven” (John 3:6). This is the 
truth that will set us free Qohn 8:32). Free to 
acknowledge that even our best will never be 
good enough. Free to rely on the indwelling of 
the Spirit to give us new life. Free to bring our- 
selves to God, even as we are, allowing Jesus 
to make our worst into our best. 

When we do that, we are no longer snakes, 
or children of snakes. We become sons and 
daughters of God, children who will live with 
Jesus forever.—;'//) 


20 


theMennonite February 23, 1999 


0 




What defines us as Mennonites 
New church gets new look 
Membership consultation expectations 
Sin, repentance and membership 



This publication welcomes 
your letters, either about our 
content or about issues fac- 
ing the Mennonite church. 
Please keep your letters 
brief — two or three para- 
graphs — and about one 
subject only. We reserve the 
right to edit for length and 
clarity. Publication is also 
subject to space limitations. 
Send your letters to Readers 
Say, The Mennonite, P.O. Box 
347, Newton, KS 67114. 

Or you can email us at: 
theMennonite@gcmc.org. 
Please include your name 
and address. We will not 
print letters sent anony- 
mously, though we may 
withhold names at our dis- 
cretion . — Editors 


2 


Teaching and thinking 

Re “The Radical Mission of Teaching and 
Thinking” by Gerald Biesecker-Mast (Feb. 2), 

I feel the need to express my disappointment 
at the clear suggestion that evangelical and 
secular institutions undermine commitment to 
the church. My own college education was 
received partly at a conservative Bible college 
and mostly at one of those evangelical institu- 
tions. At the Bible college, I learned their chosen 
theology. At the evangelical college (which was 
Wesleyan-sponsored but boasted students and 
professors from many Christian traditions, 
including Mennonite), I learned to think and 
evaluate various beliefs so as to develop my 
own personal theology as opposed to being 
spoon-fed that of my parents or elders. 

I don’t know about other parents, but I desire 
for my children that they be growing disciples 
in the kingdom of God. While my own journey 
in faith has brought me to appreciate the Men- 
nonite church, I will never be so bold as to 
claim it is the right one while other traditions 
are wrong. My daughter is currently studying 
at an evangelical institution. As I watch her 
grow in faith, I am not fearful that her commit- 
ment to the church is being undermined. And 
I am most certainly not threatened by the pos- 
sibility that she may not choose to be a Men- 
nonite. — Wendy S. Hoke Witmer, Manheim, Pa. 

It seems to me that “The Radical Mission of 
Teaching and Thinking” missed one of the 
most fundamental and most radical distinctions 
of Anabaptist education. It may also be one to 
which we in the Anabaptist higher education 
community have given the least systematic 
attention. This has to do with the basic episte- 
mological understandings with which we 
approach the educative task and the basis upon 
which we make claims for knowledge or truth. 
I suspect that the important role that Anabap- 
tists have ascribed to the hermeneutical com- 
munity for discerning and interpreting “truth” 
within context and the insistence that “truth” 
finally must be embodied serves to distinguish 
it most radically from those colleges and indi- 
viduals who understand truth primarily in tex- 
tual and propositional terms. It is this episte- 
mology which, if taken seriously and allowed 
to permeate our practice of higher education, 
has the potential to set apart Anabaptist schol- 
arship in a far more fundamental way than 
whatever unique content the programs of our 
colleges and universities may offer, important 
though these may be— John Yoder, Fresno, Calif. 


theMennonite March 2, 1999 


Slow the train, smell the flowers 

With regard to membership in the new 
denomination, any merger that does not fully 
and wholeheartedly welcome with open arms 
every member congregation in the General 
Conference Mennonite Church and Mennonite 
Church is pointless and seems arrogant and 
judgmental. If the discussion has reached the 
point of spiritual blackmail — “If you let them 
in, we won’t come in” — then it seems that 
much of the cause is lost already. 

Perhaps those who would encourage com- 
promise and expediency for the sake of haste 
should listen more carefully to the Spirit and 
to the people. Perhaps God is not much con- 
cerned about haste — and more with unity. Let 
us slow down and smell the flowers. If it is true 
of the integration process that the reward is the 
journey, then let’s make sure we don’t miss it. 
— Walter and Frieda Neufeld, Moundridge, Kan. 

Article 16 of the Confession of Faith in a Men- 
nonite Perspective states, “In the process of 
discernment, it is better to wait patiently for a 
word from the Lord leading toward consensus 
than to make hasty decisions.” Our rush 
toward integration reminds me of the engineer 
as he took his train down the steep mountain 
curve. As the train gained speed, the most 
important thing for the engineer to know was 
where the rear end of the train was. Too much 
speed at the critical time would derail the rear 
of the train. Will the speed of our integration 
train loose some of our cars? Could the train 
slow down for a decade toward a greater goal 
of unity? Why do some of us feel the leading of 
the Spirit to integrate now while others do not, 
yet both parties pray and seek discernment? 

In the changing climate of the church, there 
is a need to work toward God’s greater will and 
try to avoid the fallout of any decision that will 
destroy the greater will of God toward genuine 
unity. We dare not blame God for the decisions 
we make. — Emma Richards, Goshen, Ind. 

Legs to stand on 

Don Steelberg is correct, I fear, when he sug- 
gests the “binational church is dead” if bina- 
tional structural links are not part of the new 
Mennonite Church (“Group Pushes U.S.-Cana- 
da Partnership,” Feb. 2). His plan is a good 
beginning point. The U.S. and Canadian bod- 
ies are essential legs to the denomination, but 
without a binational structural leg, the North 
American denomination will collapse, to the 
regret of many. — Sam Steiner, Waterloo, Ont. 


RAP 10 *9* 


Vol. 2, No. 9, March 2, 1999 



4 Inclusiveness and challenge 

The servanthood way of Jesus means living with a paradox 

6 A symphony in three movements 

What defines us as Mennonites — part 2 

2 Readers say 
8 News 

New church, new look • consultation preview • Colombian ministry 

12 Newsbriefs 

13 For the record 

15 Speaking out 

Sin, repentance and membership 

16 Editorial 

The power of symbolic action 


Editor: J. Lome Peachey 
Associate editors 
Feature: Gordon Houser 
News: Rich Preheim 
Marketing: Marla J. Cole 
Advertising: Melanie Mueller 
Secretary: Dotty Anderson 
Design consultant: 

Judith Rempel Smucker 


Offices: 

61 6 Walnut Ave. 
Scottdale, PA 15683 
theMennonite@mph.org 

722 Main St., P.O.Box 347 
Newton, KS 67114 
theMennonite@gcmc.org 

Phone 1-800-790-2498 


theMennonite 

Incorporating Gospel Herald (1908-1998) and TheMennonite (1885-1998) 

The Mennonite seeks to serve the U.S. context of the integrating General Conference Mennonite Church and Mennonite 
Church by helping readers glorify God, grow in faith and become agents of healing and hope in the world. The Mennonite 
(ISSN 1522-7766) is published weekly on Tuesdays — except for March 30, June 29, Aug. 3 and Nov. 30 in 1999 — by the 
GC-MC Interim Periodical Board. Periodical postage paid at Scottdale, PA 15683-1999. Canada Post international publica- 
tions mail sales agreement no. 128562, GST no. R122192453. Subscription rates: $34.95 (U.S.) per year. Group rates avail- 
able. The views expressed in this publication do not necessarily represent the official positions of The Mennonite, the Interim 
Periodical Board, the General Conference Mennonite Church or the Mennonite Church. 


Web site: http://www.mph.org/themennonite 


Postmaster: Send form 3579 to 61 6 Walnut Ave., Scottdale, PA 1 5683-1999. 


Doing unto others? 

President Clinton’s mass murder of our sisters 
and brothers in Iraq through bombings and 
economic sanctions is infinitely more evil than 
his lying under oath about sex outside his mar- 
riage. The impeachment and trial of the presi- 
dent have exposed the moral bankruptcy of 
Clinton, Congress and most U.S. public opin- 
ion. Only five of the 435 members of the House 
of Representatives had the conscience and the 
backbone to vote against Clinton’s bombing of 
Iraq in December. As Martin Luther King Jr. 
said more than 30 years ago, ‘The greatest 
purveyor of violence in the world today is my 
own government.” 

Imagine if Clinton and Congress were deeply 
devoted to living the Golden Rule toward all 
people, including “enemy” nations, instead of 
their worship of and sworn allegiance to the 


severely flawed U.S. Constitution. Clinton and 
most of Congress claim to be followers of 
Jesus, who preached and lived the universal 
Golden Rule. — Don Schrader, Albuquerque, N.M. 

Embarrassment 

Numerous times we have seriously discussed 
canceling our subscription to The Mennonite, 
but I haven’t wanted to give up the general 
church news, births, marriages and deaths. 
However, we do hide the magazine. We consid- 
er much of the content to be inappropriate 
reading for impressionable minds because of 
the unbelieving, rebellious attitudes expressed 
toward the Word of God and also because we 
would be very embarrassed to have our non- 
Mennonite and non-Christian guests think that 
The Mennonite represents what Mennonites 
believe officially. Or does it? We are waiting to 
see. Please make the magazine a herald for 
biblical truth and not a forum for evil. — Mary 
Ethel Lahman Heatwole, Harrisonburg, Va. 


Cover illustration: "Christ 
Washing St. Peter's Feet" 
by Ford Madox Brown 
(1821-1893). Photo by 
Three Lions Inc. 


theMennonite March 2, 1999 


3 


n rm 


Membership: 
Where are 
we headed? 


Five types of action 
by a conference 
over a congregation 

1. No discipline: 

The conference takes no 
action. 

2. Statement of 
variance: The confer- 
ence issues a formal 
statement identifying 
points of variance with a 
congregation. 

3. Challenge by 
many congregations: 
The conference directs its 
member congregations 
to challenge the variant 
congregation. This level 
of discipline involves a 
series of congregation- 
to-congregation meet- 
ings over a 12-month 
period. 

4. Associate mem- 
bership: The conference 
demotes the variant con- 
gregation to associate- 
member status for five 
years, during which the 
congregation has no vot- 
ing privileges. 

5. Expulsion: The 
conference severs the 
variant congregation 
from conference mem- 
bership. 

Comment: The ser- 
vanthood way of Jesus 
rejects Type 1, which 
ignores challenge, and 
Type 5, which ignores 
inclusiveness. 

— Brent A. Koehn 


The servanthood way of Jesus 

Inclusivenes: 


T he servanthood way of Jesus involves a 
theological paradox. Jesus both included 
a wide variety of people into his life and 
ministry and made strong challenges to 
these same people. If we Christians ignore 
either part of this paradox, we violate the ser- 
vanthood way of Jesus. 

Here are three examples (out of many) of 
Jesus embodying the paradox of inclusiveness 
and challenge. 

Jesus and Judas at the Last Supper (Matthew 26:1 7- 

30): After the disciples had prepared the 
Passover meal, Jesus “took his place [at the 
meal] with the twelve.” Judas was definitely a 
part of this event. In fact, the account of this 
meal in Luke 22:14-23 indicates that Jesus 
served Communion to the whole group of dis- 
ciples, including Judas. Jesus included Judas at 
the Last Supper. During this same meal, Jesus 
also challenged Judas. While they were eating, 
Jesus startled his disciples by saying that one 
of them would betray him. Then Jesus singled 
out Judas as the guilty party. The challenge to 
Judas was strong. Jesus said, “Woe to that one 
by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would 
have been better for that one not to have been 
born.” 

Jesus and Simon the Pharisee (Luke 7:36-50): At the 

invitation of Simon the Pharisee, Jesus “went 
into the Pharisee’s house and took his place at 
the table.” Jesus sat at table with Simon and 
broke bread with him. In first-century Jewish 
culture, eating together was an act of depth 
and significance. Jesus included Simon in his 
itinerary and into his life. Then “a woman in 
the city, who was a sinner” arrived and “began 
to bathe [Jesus’] feet with her tears and to dry 
them with her hair.” Simon was aghast that 
Jesus allowed this woman to touch him in this 
way. Jesus sensed Simon’s critical attitude and 
challenged him about it. Jesus directly 
addressed Simon with a parable about two 
debtors, a probing question about the parable 
and Simon’s lack of hospitality. 

Jesus and the Woman of Samaria (John 4:1-30): 
Near a Samaritan city, Jesus rested at a well 
while his disciples went into town. When a 
Samaritan woman came to the well, Jesus 
asked her for a drink. She was taken aback 
and said, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask a drink 
of me, a woman of Samaria?” The narrator 


explains, “Jews do not share things in common 
with Samaritans.” This conversation developed 
into a serious theological discussion. From the 
perspective of the Jewish religious leaders, 
this woman had three strikes against her: 
being a Samaritan, a woman and an adulteress 
(series of five husbands plus her current man). 
But Jesus saw her differently. He took the ini- 
tiative to dialogue with this person — one of the 
dregs of society. 

That day at the well, Jesus included the 
Samaritan woman in his life. Jesus also chal- 
lenged the woman with the truth at a number 
of points. He told her, “You have had five hus- 
bands, and the one you have now is not your 
husband.” Also Jesus proclaimed, “You 
[Samaritans] worship what you do not know; 
we [Jews] worship what we know, for salvation 
is from the Jews.” 

Other examples of Jesus practicing the 
paradox include his relationship with a leader 
of the Pharisees (Luke 14:1-15) and the woman 
caught in adultery Qohn 7:53-8:11). 

The teachings of Jesus touch upon the para- 
dox of inclusiveness and challenge at a num- 
ber of points. 

The parable of the weeds among the wheat 
(Matthew 13:24-30 and 36-43): This parable of Jesus 
begins with a farmer who planted wheat in his 
field and an enemy who then “sowed weeds 
among the wheat.” These two types of plants 
sprouted and grew up closely interspersed. 

The servants asked whether they should pull 
up the weeds. The farmer replied, “No, for in 
gathering the weeds you would uproot the 
wheat along with them. Let both of them grow 
together until the harvest.” At harvest time, the 
reapers will collect the weeds and burn them. 
Jesus explains that “the one who sows the 
good seed [wheat] is the Son of Man; the field 
is the world, and the good seed are the chil- 
dren of the kingdom; the weeds are the chil- 
dren of the evil one, and the enemy who sowed 
them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the 
age, and the reapers are angels.” 

During the present age, weeds (“evildoers”) 
are not pulled up (separated) from the wheat 
(“the righteous”). It is only at “the end of the 
age” when evildoers are separated from the 
righteous and destroyed. Also, only the 
“angels” sent by the Son of Man are the agents 


4 


theMennonite March 2, 1999 



ind challenge 


of separation and destruction. During the pre- 
sent age, evildoers are not separated from the 
righteous. The weeds are included in the wheat 
field. Also during the present age, however, 
certain plants are identified as “weeds.” The 
identification of evildoing challenges evildoers. 

Other teachings of Jesus also point toward 
the paradox of inclusiveness and challenge. In 
Matthew 7:1-5, Jesus instructs people not to 
“judge” others but to “take the log out of your 
own eye.” Matthew 21:31 says that “the tax col- 
lectors and the prostitutes are going into the 
kingdom of God ahead of you [Jewish reli- 
gious leaders].” 

A brother who sins (Matthew 18:15-20): The para- 
dox of inclusiveness and challenge is also con- 
sistent with Jesus’ instructions in Matthew 18. 
Jesus outlines a four-step process for dealing 
with a church member who sins: (1) “If anoth- 
er member of the church sins against you, go 
and point out the fault when the two of you are 
alone.” (2) “But if you are not listened to, take 
one or two others along with you.” (3) “If the 
member refuses to listen to them, tell it to the 
church.” (4) “If the offender refuses to listen 
even to the church, let such a one be to you as 
a Gentile and a tax collector.” Steps one 
through three call for inclusiveness and chal- 
lenge. But does step four involve inclusive- 
ness? An important question at this point is, 
How did Jesus relate to tax collectors? 
(Matthew 18:17 refers to people who collected 
taxes for the Romans.) 

Jesus and Zacchaeus the tax collector (Luke 19:1-10): 
One tax collector with whom Jesus related was 
Zacchaeus. In fact, Zacchaeus was a “chief tax 
collector and was rich.” All the Jews in the 
neighborhood knew this man was a “sinner.” 
However, along a street under a sycamore tree 
Jesus initiated a relationship with Zacchaeus. 
“Zacchaeus, hurry and come down; for I 
[Jesus] must stay at your house today.” As a 
“guest” in Zacchaeus’ home, Jesus likely ate 
meals with this man. Also, if Zacchaeus had a 
family, then Jesus might have talked with his 
wife and played with his children. Jesus includ- 
ed himself in the life of Zacchaeus. Jesus’ self- 
invitation also challenged Zacchaeus. That day 
Zacchaeus’ life was transformed. This tax col- 
lector pledged, “Half of my possessions, Lord, 

I will give to the poor; and if I have defrauded 


anyone of anything, I will pay back four times 
as much.” 

Jesus and Matthew the tax collector (Matthew 9:9- 

13): While Matthew was yet “sitting at the tax 
booth,” Jesus called him to be one of his 12 
disciples. Later that day, Jesus shared a meal 
in a house (probably Matthew’s) with “many 
tax collectors and sinners.” Jesus included 
Matthew in his inner circle. 

However, Jesus’ call also challenged 
Matthew to leave his job of working for the 
Romans. (The text is silent about whether or 
not Matthew confessed tax collecting as a sin.) 

Jesus also spent time with Gentiles. On one 
occasion (Mark 7:24-30), Jesus entered a theo- 
logical debate with a woman who was a “Gen- 
tile, of Syrophoenician origin.” In fact, she won 
the debate. And Jesus insisted that the temple 
in Jerusalem should be “a house of prayer for 
all the nations [Gentiles]” (Mark 11:17). 

Jesus included tax collectors and Gentiles in 
his ministry. The paradox of inclusiveness and 
challenge is indeed consistent with Jesus’ teach- 
ing in Matthew 18 concerning a brother who sins. 

The servanthood way of Jesus has direct 
implications for us Christians. If we ignore 
either part of the paradox of inclusiveness and 
challenge, then we violate the servanthood 
way of Jesus. Within the local congregation, 
servanthood guides the process of dealing 
with a brother or sister who sins. Two types of 
action are rejected. Individualism, which says 
the sinful behavior of another is none of my 
business, is wrong. This stance ignores the 
challenge part of the paradox. Expulsion from 
congregational membership of a brother or 
sister who sins is also wrong. This ignores the 
inclusiveness part of the paradox. 

The paradox in the servanthood way of 
Jesus also applies to the types of discipline an 
area conference may impose on a local congre- 
gation that is at variance with conference poli- 
cy. Two types of discipline by a conference are 
wrong. No discipline is wrong because it 
ignores the challenge part of the paradox. 
Expulsion of a congregation from the confer- 
ence is wrong because it ignores inclusiveness. 

The servanthood way of Jesus involves a 
paradox. Jesus both included a wide variety of 
people into his life and strongly challenged 
these same people. 


If we ignore 
either part of 
the paradox of 
inclusiveness 
and challenge, 
then we violate 
the servant- 
hood way of 
Jesus. 


Brent A. Koehn 
lives in Arlington, 
Texas. 


theMennonite March 2, 1999 


5 



Membership: 
Where are 
we headed? 


by R. Brent Alderfer 
and Vern Rempel 


It matters so 
much where 
we put our 
bodies. If we 
haul our flesh 
and bones out 
and down to 
the meeting, 
we are doing 
the work of 
community. We 
are combating 
isolation, the 
privacy impulse 
run wild. 



6 


What defines us as Mennonites — part 2 

A symphony in thre< 

movement:! 


W hat makes a church Mennonite? Do 
people need to believe certain 
things? Are there certain behaviors 
required of members? 

Many Mennonites used to dress differently. 
And there were strict rules about Sunday school 
picnics, television, lightning rods and wedding 
rings. But this was primarily in the wake of the 
fundamentalist revival coming to the Mennon- 
ites. As a result, the “true church” could not 
include women as leaders, had to have bishops 
in charge of Communion, and could not include 
divorced and remarried people as members. 

We propose an analogy with the dynamics 
and inspiration of music. What if we heard 
church as a symphony in three movements: 
reading the Bible; living life in the presence of 
the Holy Spirit and meeting each other. Those 
are the themes that inspire the music. 

The symphony does not open with a who’s- 
in-and-who’s-out theme. In response to the 
Donatists, who wanted to purify the church by 
driving out those who had collaborated with 
the Romans and to purge whoever they consid- 
ered not holy, Augustine wrote: “The unity and 
catholicity of the church is not because of its 
own holiness, but the church is holy only 
because it comes from God.” 

The symphony of creating church is not 
about doctrine. Centering on doctrine is 
always a narrow-minded process. The leader’s 
and people’s favorites get in, and the stuff 
most challenging to them is usually ignored. 
Doctrinal statements, for example, often have 
lots to say on sex but nothing on money. 
Instead of membership requirements and doc- 
trine, which are static, let the symphony be liv- 
ing, dynamic music. 

1. Reading the Bible: Sound boring? It’s not. 
What is carelessly called “the gospel” is actual- 
ly a source of eternal life in words with mysti- 
cal meaning and radical claim for our lives, yet 
we toss off these words like movie critics. It is 
impossible to even hear those words without 
devolving into the religious-political camps we 
have created about the Bible. The self-right- 
eous constructionists vs. the immoral interpre- 
tationalists. Neither is right. It was our fallen 
ability as humans to see, comprehend and 
accept the Spirit that gave rise to the need for 
the Bible in the first place, so why do we think 


that we ever have it all figured out? 

We have proven over and over that we can 
use the Bible to kill each other, spiritually and 
physically. Charles Kingsley wrote in the 19th 
century: ‘We have used the Bible as if it was a 
constable’s handbook — an opium-dose for 
keeping beasts of burden patient while they 
are being overloaded.” In our century the 
Bible has been used to rationalize oppression, 
repression and violence against Arabs, women, 
Jews, African slaves, Anabaptists, gays and les- 
bians, Native Americans. We might ask when 
we will stop using the Bible as a stick of divi- 
sion and start looking to it for transformation. 

The first movement of the symphony asks 
for a church that agrees to read the Bible, 
struggle with it and meditate about what it 
says, a church that doesn’t divide based on 
whether we submit to, agree with or have pre- 
scribed beliefs about the Bible. It asks for a 
church whose central tenet is to follow Christ, 
who, for his interpretation of Scripture and life 
of faith was violently attacked and tortured to 
death in a public spectacle, in front of his pow- 
erless and horrified family and loved ones. 
This Christ is alive among us today, bidding us 
come and follow. 

2. Living life in the presence of the Holy Spirit: At 

the end of the movie Men in Black is a sight 
gag that shows the entire galaxy as a ball, 
which in turn shrinks to the size of a marble 
and appears in the hands of an enormous 
alien, who slips our galaxy along with some 
other marbles into its marble bag. In other 
words, at some huge background level, the 
universe is all a meaningless game. Do all 
those junior high kids in the theater really 
need to see such a graphic image of cosmic 
meaninglessness? 

As a Christian congregation we share the 
experience of being lifted out of hopelessness 
by connection to the Spirit, a Spirit that brings 
the light of hope and love to the darkest of 
places. Rather than meaninglessness in the 
midst of an empty or capricious universe, we 
believe that we live our lives in the presence of 
one who is holy, who is creator, redeemer, sus- 
tainer. And as the Holy Spirit guides us in liv- 
ing what we believe, it becomes real. We live 
in a universe filled with love and meaning. 

This is something we cannot prove but can 


theMennonite March 2, 1999 






experience in our lives and with each other in 
the Holy Spirit. That is powerful music. 

3. Meeting each other: The harmony in this 
movement arises out of our relationships. Even 
at the end of this most technologically indepen- 
dent century, people still have the capacity to get 
out of their cars, move away from the television, 
turn off the computer and materialize in front of 
each other, to meet each other face to face, to 
enjoy each other and to explore each other. 

Christian community is not by remote con- 
trol. It is us: teenager Laurie restlessly trying 
out her new stature as a tall young woman; 20- 
something Greg with new-job haircut; Larry 
wearing a tucked-in green shirt at the AA 
meeting in the church basement; Sally smiling 
as she dips the bread in the juice; child Con- 
ner asking smart, unanswerable questions; 
Clara crushing you with a hug; Bill fixing you 
with his twinkling eyes; that stranger with the 
funny beard. It is all of them seeking to live 
and move in happiness and love, which is the 
search for the Spirit of Christ. 

It matters so much where we put our bod- 
ies. If we haul our flesh and bones out and 
down to the meeting, we are doing the work of 
community. We are combating isolation, the 
privacy impulse run wild. We let ourselves 
look each other in the eye, smell the smell, 
shake the hand and give the hug, experience 
the body language. We let ourselves be influ- 
enced by other living, moving humans. And in 
the Christian congregation, those other living 
humans frame their lives as a quest for that 
Holy Spirit path. 

Coming at the end of the first two move- 
ments, this third movement confronts us with 
each other because the Spirit is confronting. 
But our meeting will be shaped and governed 
by our meditation on the Bible and empow- 
ered by the presence of the Spirit, rather than 
the other way around. We will know we are 
there when our church is a place to share our 
missteps in order to find our next step, to bare 
our addictions (yes, all of us) in order to find 
our new path and to express our dreams in 
order to find God’s power in them. We will 
know we are in this movement of the church 
when we experience our hope rather than our 
hopelessness spilling over each other. 

This third movement is strong. It’s a tough 


church, not a soft one. It’s not tough in angry 
sermons but in demanding the truth from 
each other. It asks tough questions rather than 
erecting tough walls. 

How do you reconcile your wealth with 
Christ’s Spirit in your life? How do you recon- 
cile your sexuality with Christ’s Spirit in your 
life? How do you explain your career as a con- 
tribution to the Spirit. Or do you? Do you need 
to? Who cares? Why does it matter? These are 
the triple fortissimo crescendos in this move- 
ment, separated by the quiet beauty of the 
Holy Spirit’s music in our ears. These are the 
waves of passion that flow in and around “the 
land that is parching,” as the hymn goes. Ask- 
ing these questions helps define a church. 
Membership in a vital Mennonite congrega- 
tion does not require that we follow a variety 
of rules but that we commit ourselves to fol- 
low the leading of the Spirit, no matter where 
that movement of the Spirit leads us in our 
questions and affirmations. 

When we agree to ask each other such 
questions and listen to the Holy Spirit for 
answers, we will see our lives opened and 
exemplary, without resorting to codes of con- 
duct. Consider the Anabaptists, the historic 
ancestors of our church. They were eager to 
be biblical, to be Christlike. Among the first 
blush of Anabaptists, back in the 16th century, 
one of the best ways the authorities had of 
rooting out these Anabaptists was by looking 
for people dedicated to clean living. If you 
were honest in your business dealings, gener- 
ous and plain in speech (i.e., honest), you 
were at risk of being hauled in as Anabaptist. 
There were plenty of folks around with rules 
about those things, but the authorities looked 
for those with practices deeper than rules. 

Regarding those who believe they live in 
the presence of the Spirit of the Holy One, the 
proof is in the pudding. Are their lives trans- 
formed? Are they honest and loving? Are they 
people whose character is worthy of respect 
and life-giving to all around? Then we can say, 
look at people who pray to God, who meditate 
in the Spirit, who seek to receive the presence 
of one who is good. This is how they live. ‘We 
are people of God’s peace,” says the hymn. 
May it be so, as we continue to live our lives in 
the presence of the Spirit of God. 

theMennonite March 2, 1999 


Membership in 
a vital Menno- 
nite congrega- 
tion does not 
require that we 
follow a variety 
of rules but 
that we commit 
ourselves to fol- 
low the leading 
of the Spirit, no 
matter where 
that movement 
of the Spirit 
leads us in our 
questions and 
affirmations. 


R. Brent Alder fer is 
a member and Vern 
Rernpel is pastor at 
First Mennonite 
Church, Denver. 

This is the second of 
a two-part article. 


7 


Current symbols 



General Conference 
Mennonite Church 



Mennonite Church 



Conference of Mennonites 
in Canada 


8 


Symbol of the future takes flight 

Integrated Mennonite Church gets visual identity 


CHICAGO — While much work remains to inte- 
grate the General Conference Mennonite 
Church (GC), Mennonite Church (MC) and 
Conference of Mennonites in Canada (CMC), 
flying above it all will be a dove carrying an 
olive branch. 

The GC-MC-CMC joint executive commit- 
tee of the three merging bodies approved the 
visual symbol to represent the new Mennonite 
Church during its Feb. 12-13 meeting in 
Chicago. 

The simple, green image is multifaceted in 
its representations. Designer Glenn Fretz 
notes that the dove symbolizes the Holy Spirit 
while the olive branch represents God’s gift of 
hope and new life. CMC general secretary Hel- 
mut Harder notes a number of themes the new 
symbol suggests to him, including: 

• the biblical themes of hope and creation 

• the prophets’ vision for a peaceable king- 
dom 

• Jesus’ baptism and Pentecost 

• the Anabaptist vision of peace and renewal 

• an invitation for us to move forward with 
Christ and aspire to a new heaven and new 
earth. 

“A strength of the image is that it touches 
down at a number of places in our salvation 
history,” Harder says. 

Fretz, of Waterloo, Ont., calls the assignment 
the most challenging of his career. “It is quite 
a privilege to be given the task of trying to rep- 
resent the spiritual heart and soul of a people,” 
says Fretz, who has done design work for 
Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary, Men- 
nonite Economic Development Associates, 
Mennonite Mutual Aid and other church and 
nonprofit organizations as well as corporations 
and government bodies. 

He created the image with a team of design- 
ers, including Judith Rempel Smucker of 
Akron, Pa., and Ron Tinsley of Philadelphia. 

Fretz will begin work with Barth Hague, 
Mennonite Mutual Aid vice president for mar- 
keting, on design application and development 
of a graphic standards manual. The symbol and 
graphic standards will be available for use by 
all parts of the new church — agency, congre- 
gation, area conference and denomination — in 
the United States and Canada following the 
churchwide convention in St. Louis in July. 

theMennonite March 2, 1999 



Mennonite 

Church 

The recently adopted dove and olive branch symbol for the 
new Mennonite Church (above) will replace the current sym- 
bols used by the three integrating bodies (left). 

A visual identity system had been identified 
by the Integration Committee in January 1998 
as a project requiring immediate attention. An 
earlier version of the adopted image was first 
presented to the Integration Committee in Sep- 
tember 1998. The committee then recommend- 
ed it to the GC, MC and CMC general boards 
for adoption at their joint meeting in Novem- 
ber. After giving feedback at the meeting, the 
general boards directed the joint executive 
committee to take final action. 

The new church’s visual identity was based 
on results of a constituent survey conducted 
last spring. An integration communications 
task force identified objectives for the symbol, 
including: 

• bring together people and programs 

• project the core values of the church 

• be easily adaptable 

• position the new Mennonite Church as 
distinct within the larger Christian movement 

• fit Mennonite sensibilities. — GCMC, MC 
and CMC news services 



1999 Vacation Bible School 


A fun-filled program that keeps the Bible 
in your Vacation Bible School! 

JL' * \ ■ * . h \ • , 





H he Bible will come alive for the children in your Vacation Bible School 
with Exodus: The Great Escape. This new VBS program teaches children 
about the Bible's message by letting them recreate the story of the Israelites' 
escape from slavery. Plus, Exodus: The Great Escape provides instructional 
projects to help children learn more about biblical times. Mission and service 
activities alert children to the needs of refugees today. Make your Vacation 
Bible School an unforgettable experience with Exodus: The Great Escape. 


Vacation Bible School Schedule 

Session 

2 l khrs. 

People Responsible 

Coming Together 

10 min. 

Group Leader 

Gather in small groups 

The Community Gathers 

30 min. 

Drama coordinator 
Worship leader 
Group leaders: sit with 
their own group. 

All groups gather for a Bible drama and 
other worship activities 

Connecting with the Bible Experience 

30 min. 

Group Leader 

Have snacktime. Remember the story. 
Memorize Scripture. Choose from 
a list of activities 

Then and Now Activities 

Two 
35 min. 
sessions 

Then and Mow 
Activity Leaders 

Participate in hands-on activities about 
Bible times and activities related to 
contemporary mission/service 

Closing Moments 

10 min. 

Group Leader 

Small groups return to their own meeting 
place for a blessing and dismissal 










Bible School 


HOW 


Exodus: The Great Escape Box Contents 




1 Worship Booklet 

Resource for students. 
Songs and Bible memory. 
A memento when Vacation 
Bible School is over. 


Director's Resource Packet 

1-17 x 22 Invitation Poster, 
1-22 x 35 Invitation Poster, 
25 Invitation Postcards, 
sample Worship Bulletin, 
sample Student Certificate, 
sample Staff Appreciation 
Certificate, sample Student 
Record, Order Form, and 
brochures. 


1 Director's Guide 

Overview of the design 
and philosophy of this 
curriculum. Tips on 
planning, administration, 
and staffing. 

2 Worship Leader's Guides 

Complete plans for five 
sessions of worship including 
how to incorporate the Bible 
drama, Bible background, 
songs, and more. 

2 Drama Guides 

Scripts for five Bible 
dramas, reproducible for 
use with this curriculum. 


Group Leader Guides 

2 Primary Leader's Guides 
(Grades 1-2) 


2 Middler Leader's Guides 
(Grades 3-5) 


2 Junior Youth Leader's 
Guides (Grades 6-8) 
Detailed plans for guiding 
age-level groups in their 
vacation Bible school 
experience. 

2 Then and Now 

Activities Packets 
A set of 15 loose-leaf sheets 
with specific plans and 
information for the leader 
of each activity. 


1 Song Cassette 

Recordings of songs used 
in Worship Guide. 

1 Ark of the Covenant Kit 

Example of the wooden ark. 
1 999 feature Then and Now 
Activity. 

1 Worship Banner 

Cloth banner of the Ark 
of the Covenant with Bible 
memory verse. 


Missions Project Materials 

Five pictures of refugees and 
a video about refugee children 
in Serbia. 


(Items in this column are 
not all to scale.) 






Five Day Overview 

The Exodus is the story of God delivering the Israelites from slavery in Egypt. 

God not only rescued the Israelites but also provided food and water in the wilderness. God gave 
them rules for right relationships and called them into a covenant relationship. God not only liberated 
the Israelites from slavery but also liberated them to a relationship with God. 


1 DAY 

SESSION 

TITLE 

SCRIPTURE 

BIBLE FOCUS 

FAITH MEANING 

1 

God Provides 
for Us 

Exodus 14-17 

God provides food 
and water in the 
wilderness. 

God rescued the people of 
Israel from slavery and cared 
for them in the desert. We 
remember God's care for us 
and grow in faith and trust. 

2 

We Want to 
Obey God 

Exodus 19-20, 
24 

The Israelites 
receive rules 
for living together 
as God^ people. 

God offered the Israelites 
a covenant relationship. 
Relationships and the rules that 
guide them are gifts from God. 

3 

God Forgives 
Disobedience 

Exodus 32-33 

The people disobey 
God by worshipping 
the golden calf. 

Disobedience separates us 
from God. When we confess 
our sin, God forgives us. 

4 

We Are on 
God's Side 

Exodus 34-40 

God renews the 
covenant with Israel 
showing God's 
surprising love. 

God extended forgiveness to the 
Israelites who hacT worshipped an 
idol. God loves us and forgives us 
when we sin. 

5 

God Gives the 
Promised Land 

Numbers 13-14, 
Joshua 1-3 

The Israelites distrust God 
and must wait to enter the 
Promised Land. 

The Israelites reached the 
Promised Land. 

Though lack of trust meant they 
had to wait, God continued to 
care for them. God's care and 
promises never fail. 


For more information about Exodus: The Great Escape and The Bible THEN & NOW Series for Vacation 
Bible Schools, visit your local Christian bookseller, or contact us here directly at Herald Press 



Herald Press, Scottdale, PA 15683 1 - 800 - 245-7894 www.mpfi.org/vbs/ 

Printed in the USA. 


Herald 

Press 





Consultation on membership and homosexuality 
to assemble wide range of issues and opinions 


When it comes to church membership and 
homosexuality, the differences are vast, the 
disagreements intense, the issues complex. 
And few expect one consultation to make them 
disappear. 

The March 11-14 consultation on member- 
ship in the integrated Mennonite Church has 
been likened to the Jerusalem Conference of 
Acts 15. Participants will come to the gather- 
ing with concerns about polity, mission and 
the place and interpretation of the Bible. While 
organizers and participants are hopeful about 
the event’s outcome, that hope needs to be 
tempered by reality. 

“I think it would be an illusion to think all 
these things would be resolved,” says James 
Waltner, a member of the consultation planning 
committee and of the Membership Committee. 

The goal, Waltner says, is to find “common 
ground so we can work with and live with 
some of the differences among us.” 

The invitation-only consultation, to be held 
at a retreat center near Kansas City, Kan., will 
not be a decision-making event. Rather, it will 
be for counsel to the Membership Committee, 
which is charged with drafting guidelines for 
membership in the new church. 

Attending the event will be representatives 
from the churchwide, area conference and 
congregational levels (see list at right). Also 
invited are two representatives from each of 
the four U.S. congregations that have been 
expelled from Mennonite Church (MC) area 
conferences but are still General Conference 
Mennonite Church (GC) members, plus one 
Canadian congregation facing possible discipli- 
nary action, all for their positions on homosex- 
uality and church membership. The consulta- 
tion will be closed to the church media, includ- 
ing The Mennonite. 

One pressing issue is how to deal with con- 
gregations that have been dismissed by one 
area conference but are members of another. 
The Membership Committee last fall proposed 
that all current GC, MC and Conference of 
Mennonites in Canada (CMC) congregations 
automatically become members of the new 
church but that area conferences can set their 
own criteria for membership and discipline. 
Some quarters of the Mennonite Church, how- 
ever, opposed allowing disciplined congrega- 
tions into full membership in the new denomi- 
nation without repenting. Revised membership 
guidelines will be presented at the consulta- 
tion. 

“It is not so much the issue of homosexuality 
as what we do with the Scriptures,” says Fred 
Kanagy, North Central Conference moderator. 


Franklin Conference moderator Darrell Baer 
says his conference is concerned that the cur- 
rent discussions are an attempt to change the 
churches’ official positions on homosexuality. 
“We believe the Scripture is quite clear,” he says. 

But several other conferences are opposed to 
barring membership to some congregations as 
a polity issue. “Our basic stance is that mem- 
bership in the local congregation is best made 
by the local congregation,” says Marv Zehr, 
conference minister for Western District Con- 
ference. 

Pacific Southwest Conference moderator 
Duane Oswald echoes that point but says: “I 
believe there is room in our church for diversi- 
ty [in polity]. ... I don’t want to impose Pacific 
Southwest standards on other conferences. 

“We need to focus on what unites us and 
not divides us.” 

While there has been speculation that the 
consultation’s results could adversely affect 
integration, consultation participants say they 
will come ready to discern. 

“I think we’ll go in with an open mind to lis- 
ten and to share our perspective,” Zehr says. 
“We always have to be open to the moving of 
the Spirit, and we would take that counsel 
seriously.” 

Says Baer, “We’re coming to the consulta- 
tion with a deep desire for the church to find 
its way ... and the confidence that we can.” 

The consultation is a welcome chance for 
disciplined congregations to dialogue with the 
rest of the church, says Becky Kurtz, who will 
represent Atlanta Mennonite Fellowship, 
which last year had its Southeast Conference 
membership terminated. 

“We feel like it’s a real good opportunity for 
people to see us as . . . people of faith and not 
just as an issue,” Kurtz says. 

The consultation will be led by George J. 
Schemel and Judith Roemer from the Institute 
for Contemporary Spirituality at the University 
of Scranton (Pa.), a Jesuit school. The discern- 
ment process, described as “highly participato- 
ry,” will feature prayer, meditation and sharing. 
The consultation will also include a worship 
series focusing on covenant, accountability, 
unity and diversity. 

In addition, the moderators of the three 
integrating bodies have called on the people in 
the pew to raise their corporate and personal 
prayers for the consultation. The Membership 
Committee “needs our discernment and sup- 
port,” wrote GC moderator Darrell Fast, MC 
moderator Dwight McFadden and CMC mod- 
erator Ron Sawatsky in a letter sent to all con- 
gregations . — Rich Preheim 


theMennonite March 2, 1999 


The consultation 
invitation list 

Among those invited to the 
March 11-14 membership 
consultation are: 

•Two or three represen- 
tatives from all General Con- 
ference Mennonite Church 
(GC), Mennonite Church (MC) 
and Conference of Menno- 
nites in Canada (CMC) area 
conferences; 

• One or two represen- 
tatives each from racial/eth- 
nic groups; 

• Representatives from 
integration-related commit- 
tees; 

• Representatives from 
GC, MC and CMC general 
boards; 

•Selected churchwide 
staff members; 

•MC, GCand CMC mod- 
erators and general secre- 
taries; 

•Two representatives 
each from Ames (Iowa) Men- 
nonite Church; Atlanta Men- 
nonite Fellowship; German- 
town Mennonite Church, 
Philadelphia; Rainbow Men- 
nonite Church, Kansas City, 
Kan.; and South Calgary 
Inter-Mennonite Fellowship, 
Calgary. The first four have 
been dismissed from MC 
area conferences, while the 
last is facing possible disci- 
plinary action, all for their 
positions on homosexuality. 


9 


Profile: Colombia 
Mennonite Church 

Despite its small size — 
about 1,200 people in 17 
congregations — the Colom- 
bia Mennonite Church carries 
on a variety of ministries, 
employing about 90 people. 

The Mennonite Biblical 
Seminary shares space with 
the national church office in 
Bogota. MENCOLDES is a relief 
and development agency 
working to address the 
needs of the country's poor 
and mistreated. JustaPaz, 
the peace and justice 
agency, offers mediation 
training workshops through- 
out Latin America. 

Other ministries include 
bookstores, a senior citizens 
home and schools . — Aiden 
Schlichting Enns 


10 


Edgar and Edith Acuna, with 
their son Stephen, pose out- 
side their home and the Men- 
nonite congregation they 
lead in a poor barrio in 
Bogota, Colombia. The con- 
gregation — now with 37 
regular attenders — grew out 
of Edith's work with children 
in the barrio. Under her guid- 
ance, nearly 100 other people 
meet in homes in the barrio. 



Despite obstacles, Colombian Mennonites 
bring ministry to poor in Bogota barrios 


SANTAFE DE BOGOTA, Colombia— Much of 
the urban ministry of Mennonites in Colombia 
takes place against a backdrop that challenges 
even the most courageous. Edith Acuna’s 
story, for example, is one of a journey — literal- 
ly — fraught with danger. 

Acuna lives and works as a pastor in the 
poor Bogota barrio of Juan Pablo II. Murder, 
drug abuse, assault and theft are daily occur- 
rences on the steep and dirty streets. She 
moved to the barrio 18 years ago with her hus- 
band, Edgar, and three children. Baptized in 
Bogota’s Berna Mennonite Church, Acuna car- 
ried her Mennonite faith to her new neighbor- 
hood and began reaching out to the hurting 
women and children all around her. 

Desperate for pastoral and theological train- 
ing, Acuna took evening courses at the Men- 
nonite seminary, about a 90-minute bus ride 
away. But fearing robbery or worse, bus and 
taxi drivers would not enter her neighborhood 
at night, leaving Acuna to walk the last 20 min- 
utes in the dark and alone. 

“It’s very hard to walk through the streets 
here for fear of being attacked, especially on 
payday, even in the daytime,” Acuna says. 

Nevertheless, she earned a certificate in 
theology from the seminary and about six 
years ago started offering Bible instruction to 
60 children in her home. A worshiping congre- 
gation soon emerged. 

At that time, Edgar was not supportive and 
forbade her to work with the men of the com- 
munity. “It was impossible to invite men [to 
worship services],” Acuna says. “[Edgar] 
would be jealous.” 


But still she persevered, with God’s leading. 
When Acuna was looking to expand her min- 
istry, a woman previously unknown to her 
came forward with money to buy the building 
next door to Acuna’s house. The building has 
one room, hollow-brick walls and a corrugated 
tin roof. It now serves as the Mennonite church 
— painted blue with the hours of service and 
the symbol of the General Conference Menno- 
nite Church in black. 

‘The area of counseling is tremendously 
important,” Acuna says. “There is much abuse 
of children and women. The majority of young 
girls get pregnant very early.” 

In addition to their own congregation of 37 
regular attenders, Edith, now joined by her 
husband, gives leadership to nine house 
churches, totaling nearly 100 people, and trains 
other leaders, working full-time with no salary. 

In another Bogota barrio, Santa Martha, 
Jose Rincon speaks out for peace, human 
rights, basic city services and the gospel of 
Jesus Christ. For the last six or seven years, 
he has pastored a Mennonite congregation in 
Santa Martha that now numbers about 45 peo- 
ple. They hold services in a small, storefront 
meeting place on one of the barrio’s few paved 
roads. 

At one point in Rincon’s work with street 
kids, members of the military abducted him, 
put him in the back of a truck and interrogat- 
ed him as they drove around. He has also 
received threats of personal violence from 
drug dealers in the neighborhood . — Aiden 
Schlichting Enns for GCMC and CMC news 
services 


theMennonite March 2, 1999 


After 45 years, one of the first still lasts 

Early missionary continues to serve church in Colombia 


SANTAFE DE BOGOTA, Colombia— Look at 
the pillars of the church in Colombia and you 
will see Mary Hope Stucky. 

One of the first General Conference Menno- 
nite Church missionaries to Colombia, Stucky 
has been there from the beginning of the 
Colombia Mennonite Church more than 50 
years ago. She has raised four children, sup- 
ported her husband and his work and done 
much of the administration of a boarding 
school. Still vital and healthy at 82, she is still 
in Colombia and serving the church. 

Growing up in a Presbyterian family in the 
United States, Mary Hope Wood wanted to be 
a missionary. She graduated from Wheaton 
(111.) College in 1938, and met Gerald Stucky 
from Berne, Ind., at what is now New York 
Theological Seminary. The Stuckys were mar- 
ried in 1943 and went to Colombia in 1945. 

They were among the first four missionaries 
sent to Colombia by the General Conference 
Mennonite Church. The Stuckys, along with 
Mary Becker (now Valencia) and Janet Soldner, 
started a Mennonite boarding school for the 
healthy children of people with Hansen’s dis- 
ease (leprosy) in Cachipay, about 50 miles 
west of Bogota. 

The Roman Catholic church in Colombia 
was not open to Protestant missionaries, Stucky 
says, “but because we were going to work with 
children of people with Hansen’s disease, the 
government was OK with us coming there.” 

The long-term aim was to establish a Men- 
nonite church in Colombia, but the mission 
workers started with the American Leprosy Mis- 
sion. The Stuckys worked at the school for 20 
years. The school is still operating under the 
local Cachipay Mennonite congregation. 

In 1966, the Stuckys went to Berne, where 
Gerald pastored at First Mennonite Church. 


They returned to Colombia in 1973 to estab- 
lish a house church in Bogota. After her hus- 
band died in 1988 at age 73, Stucky decided to 
stay in Bogota, where two of her children live. 
Son Peter, a pastor at Teusaquillo Mennonite 
Church, and his family live in the apartment 
below Stucky. Her son Paul, who works at the 
Mennonite peace and justice agency JustaPaz, 
lives with his family down the street. 

Stucky’s daughter, Judy, lives with her fami- 
ly in Portland, Ore., and another son, Tim, and 
his family are in Tucson, Ariz. 

“I wanted to live with one of my families,” 
Stucky says. “I was healthy. I could still work, 
and I wanted to do something. I felt I wanted 
to continue the work here. I like the Colom- 
bian people. It is a beautiful country, and it’s a 
beautiful climate. 

“I’m not on the front lines anymore. But I’m 
supporting in prayer, keeping in touch with 
people and being supportive with grandchildren.” 
She also runs the MENNO Project, a two- 
week exposure trip to Colombia for people 
from North America. 

Looking back over her years in Colombia, 
Stucky says: “I really admire the way the 
church has tried to meet the needs of the com- 
munity. Although it’s a small group, God has 
used [the Colombia Mennonite Church] to do 
many things, whether it is the peace witness, 
working with the whole person, carrying out 
the efforts of peace and reconciliation and non- 
violence, or the work at the seminary with dif- 
ferent denominations.” 

Stucky says her dreams are for the church 
“to grow spiritually in depth and also in num- 
bers and have a continuing and growing influ- 
ence in many areas. I have a lot of confidence 
in the leaders .” — Aiden Schlichting Enns for 
GCMC and CMC news services 



I'm not on the 
front lines any- 
more. But I'm sup- 
porting in prayer, 
keeping in touch 
with people and 
being supportive 
with grandchildren. 

— Mary Hope Stucky 



A meal to feed justice 

Christina Dyck (left) from Canadian Mennonite Bible College, Winnipeg, and Nathan Horst 
from Eastern Mennonite University, Harrisonburg, Va., eat supper during a Feb. 19 "hunger 
meal" as part of the annual Collegiate Mennonite Peace Fellowship Conference, hosted this 
year by Bethel College, North Newton, Kan. Hunger meal participants were divided into 
first-, second- and third-class categories, representing the world's countries. First-class din- 
ers had a sit-down, multicourse banquet; second-class diners had beans and rice with 
plates and cutlery; third-class diners had a limited amount of beans and rice and no plates 
or cutlery. The conference, held Feb. 19-20, drew more than 60 students from six North 
American Mennonite colleges. Other conference activities included workshops on topics 
such as the Peace Tax Fund, student activism, conflict management, women in the church 
and homosexual rights; presentations by peace and justice workers; and a concert and 
dance. The conference was sponsored by Mennonite Central Committee and Bethel College. 


theMennonite March 2, 1999 


11 


GCMC-CMC photo by Aiden SehliohtinK Enns 



riefs newsbriefs 


by the 
way ... 

Of all the countries with 
Mennonites, Singapore has 
the fewest with 16 . — Men- 
nonite World Conference 


Response efforts continue after Colombia quake 

ARMENIA, Colombia — Colombian Menno- 
nites are working feverishly on reconstruc- 
tion in Armenia following the Jan. 25 earth- 
quake which destroyed much of the city. The 
first 45 to 90 days will be spent on meeting 
basic health and comfort needs, job creation, 
demolition of damaged homes and pyscholog- 
ical care, says Cesar Moya, executive secre- 
tary of the Colombian Mennonite Church. 

While international aid initially flooded 
Armenia, it stopped as quckly as it started. 
The city’s food supply is nearly depleted, and 
the government estimates it needs 150 tons of 
food daily to feed nearly 250,000 people. The 
food shortage has produced looting. 

Many people have left Armenia for neigh- 
boring cities, but many of those who remain 
are living in temporary homes made of plastic 
and cardboard. These crowded, makeshift 
camps, coupled with the lack of good drink- 
ing water, have created unsanitary conditions, 
and epidemics of smallpox and diarrhea have 
been reported. Mennonite Central Committee 
has promised to airlift 3,000 health kits to 
Armenia . — MCC and MWC news services 


Oregon congregation receives building grant 

SWEET HOME, Ore. — A small group of 
believers has received a $30,000 grant to help 
pay for its new facilities. The first half of the 
grant, from Mennonite Men’s Tenth Man pro- 
gram, was presented Jan. 26 to River of Life 
Fellowship in Sweet Home. 

The congregation two years ago secured a 
loan to purchase three buildings: a main 


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building with sanctuary and fellowship hall, a 
small office building and a two-story structure 
intended for children’s and youth ministries. 

The Tenth Man program provides financial 
assistance to new churches to buy or build 
their first meeting places . — GCMC News 
Service 

Prison ministry assumes Bible study courses 

ELKHART, Ind. — After 44 years of publishing 
the Home Bible Study courses, Mennonite 
Board of Missions (MBM) has transferred 
the project to Gospel Echoes, an independent 
Mennonite prison ministry organization, based 
: in Goshen, Ind. Gospel Echoes has been the 
primary user of the courses in recent years. 

The Home Bible Study is a series of eight 
courses, each with 12 lessons, geared toward 
people with little or no knowledge of the Bible 
or Christianity. Gospel Echoes distributed 
109,000 courses last year in the United States 
and Canada. 

Under the agreement, Gospel Echoes 
assumes full ownership of the Home Bible 
Study series, but MBM retains rights to trans- 
late and publish the materials outside North 
America. The main change expected with the 
transfer is the publication of the courses in 
book format . — MBM News Service 

Book on Ethiopia church honored 

SCOTTDALE, Pa. — The first book telling of 
the tremendous growth of the Mennonite 
[ church in Ethiopia has been recognized as 
one of the 15 outstanding books of 1998 for 
mission studies. The International Bulletin of 
Missionary Research honored Beyond Our 
Prayers: Anabaptist Church Growth in Ethiopia, 
1948-1998 by Nathan Hege, published last 
year by Herald Press. 

Despite being forced underground during 
Ethiopia’s 17-year Marxist reign, the Meserete 
Kristos Church grew rapidly with the use of 
cell groups. The church grew 20 percent a year 
and now numbers more than 100,000 people. 

Goshen College adds peace, environment majors 

GOSHEN, Ind. — The Goshen College board 
of overseers has approved new majors in envi- 
ronmental studies and in peace, justice and 
conflict studies. Both programs are slated to 
start next fall. “Goshen College has a rich 
foundation of courses, activities and facilities 
that relate to peacemaking and environmental 
studies in the broadest sense of the word,” 
says Goshen president Shirley H. Showalter. 


12 


theMennonite March 2, 1999 


Events 

"Building Capacity, Increas- 
ing Impact" consultation on 
community development proj- 
ects. Sponsored by Mennonite 
Mutual Aid. Contact: Melissa 
Aitkin, 800-348-7468, ext. 210. 

Births 

Balzer, Jesse Aaron, Jan. 21, to 
Janet (Roesler) and Paul Balzer, 
Merriam, Kan. 

Birzer, Daniel Louis, Jan. 26, 
to Kevin and Michele (Moeller) 
Birzer, Leawood, Kan. 

Clemens, Amber Nicole, Feb. 
3, to Brian and Sandra (Derstine) 
Clemens, Harleysville, Pa. 
Clemons, Emilee Kaye, Feb. 

8, to Larry and Vickie (Johnson) 
Clemons, Pulaski, Iowa. 

Cowles, Caleb Norris, Jan. 30, 
to John and Pamela (Koch) 
Cowles, Bloomfield, Iowa. 
Derstine, Celena Rose, Feb. 

9, to Brian and Denise (Gahman) 
Derstine, Sellersville, Pa. 
Gingerich, Braden Duane, 
Feb. 1, to Annika (Yoder) and 
Corwin Gingerich, Kalona, Iowa. 
Heinrichs, Katrina Larisa, 
April 23, 1998, received for adop- 
tion Feb. 1, 1999, by Donna 
(Wenger) and Romney Heinrichs, 
Hesston, Kan. 

Hobbs, Nichole Anne, Jan. 26, 
to Anne and Lowell Hobbs, West 
Bath, Maine. 

Horst, Amanda Joy, Feb. 9, to 
Darryl and Lisa (French) Horst, 
Lancaster, Pa. 

Hostetler, Carissa Raine, 

Jan. 20, to Eric and Lavonn (Dun- 
can) Hostetler, Goshen, Ind. 

Kym, Brant Michael, Jan. 30, 
to Karen (Yoder) and Phil Kym, 
Grayslake, III. 

Reimer, Abigail Faith, Feb. 8, 
to Cindy (Augustine) and John 
Reimer, Hesston, Kan. 

Schrag, Gabriel Evan, Feb. 10, 
to LeAnn and Les Schrag, Newton, 
Kan. 

Schrock, Sydney Jo, Feb. 2, to 
Darren and Stacy (Ashby) 

Schrock, Buhler, Kan. 

Short, Mason Lane, Feb. 4, to 
Darin and Lisa (Nafziger) Short, 
Goshen, Ind. 

Slabach, Dylan Paul, Jan. 25, 
to Paul (deceased) and Regina 
(Frey) Slabach, Lyndhurst, Va. 


Tarbuck, Gabriel Weston, 

Dec. 17, to Leigh and Millie 
(Metzler) Tarbuck, Rochester, N.H. 
Zehr, Sawyer Beryl, Feb. 3, to 
Beryl and Cynthia (Noftsier) Zehr, 
Croghan, N.Y. 

Marriages 

Schrag/Sommerfeld: Rachel 
Schrag, Newton, Kan., and Brad 
Sommerfeld, Newton, Dec. 23 at 
Newton. 

Deaths 

Brubacher, Sidney, 85, 

Wakarusa, Ind., died Feb. 3. 
Spouse: Vera Faye Culp Brubacher. 
Funeral: Feb. 7 at Yellow Creek 
Mennonite Church, Goshen, Ind. 
Clemmer, Kenneth, 74, Lans- 
dale, Pa., died Jan. 30. Spouse: 
Edith Mae Plessinger Clemmer. 
Parents: Levi and Elizabeth Rit- 
tenhouse Clemmer (deceased). 
Other survivors: children Ronald, 
Dale, Duane, Teresa Alderfer, 
Patricia Lowe; 11 grandchildren. 
Memorial service to be held later 
at Line Lexington (Pa.) Menno- 
nite Church. 

Evans, Everett, 65, Royersford, 
Pa., died Feb. 8. Spouse: Dorothy 
Barndt Evans. Parents: Marvin 
(deceased) and Ruth Evans. 

Other survivors: children Kevin, 
Karen, Kathy Wilson, Susan 
Marsteller; eight grandchildren. 
Funeral: Feb. 13 at Trinity Evan- 
gelical Congregational Church, 
Royersford, Pa. 

Fiorini, Dorothy Kulp, 72, 
Parkerford, Pa., died Feb. 6. 
Spouse: Samuel Fiorini. Parents: 
Walter and Florence Kulp 
(deceased). Other survivors: chil- 
dren Margaret, Walter, Samuel; 
two grandchildren. Funeral: Feb. 
10 at Limerick, Pa. 

Fry, Susie Miller, 84, Middle- 
bury, Ind., died Jan. 24. Spouse: 
Fred Fry (deceased). Parents: 
Moses and Elizabeth Yoder Miller 
(deceased). Survivors: children 
Marlene McClane, Esther Miller, 
Nancy Hagenbuch; 11 grandchil- 
dren; 22 great-grandchildren. 
Funeral: Jan. 27 at First Menno- 
nite Church, Middlebury. 


Gratz, Helen Miller, 77, 

Bluffton, Ohio, died Feb. 7. 
Spouse: Justin Gratz. Parents: 

Paul and Gail Fisher Miller 
(deceased). Other survivors: chil- 
dren David, Karyl Eckenwiler; 
nine grandchildren; one great- 
grandchild. Funeral: Feb. 10 at 
First Mennonite Church, Bluffton. 
High, Helen Wismer, 93, 
Plumsteadville, Pa., died Jan. 27. 
Spouse: Jacob High (deceased). 
Parents: William and Anna 
Frankenfield Wismer (deceased). 
Survivors: children Lauretta 
Hartzell, Darwin; 10 grandchil- 
dren; 20 great-grandchildren. 
Funeral: Feb. 1, at Doylestown 
(Pa.) Mennonite Church. 

Landis, Arthur, 80, Souderton, 
Pa., died Feb. 3. Spouse: Ella Mae 
Detweiler Landis. Parents: Elias 
and Katie Blank Landis (deceased). 
Other survivors: children Judi 
Kraszewski, Larry, Gerald, Timo- 
thy, Arthur; seven grandchildren; 
one great-grandchild. Funeral: 
Feb. 7 atTowamencin Mennonite 
Church, Kulpsville, Pa. 

Martin, Elizabeth "Betty," 
70, Jackson, Ohio, died Jan. 31 of 
cancer. Parents: Titus and Edna 
Martin. Funeral: Feb. 4 at 
Neffsville, Pa. 

Martin, Melinda, 77, Cam- 
bridge, Ont., died Feb. 4. Parents: 
Levi and Susannah Hoffman 
Martin, (deceased). Funeral: Feb. 
6 at Kitchener, Ont. 

Miller, Harley, 68, Yoder, Kan., 
died Feb. 8 of cancer. Spouse: 
Tillie Mullet Miller. Parents: Noah 
and Clara Yoder Miller (deceased). 
Other survivors: children Shirley 
Nelson, Ray, Marion; nine grand- 
children; four great-grandchil- 
dren. Funeral: Feb. 12 at Yoder 
(Kan.) Mennonite Church. 
Myers, Willis, 77, Lyonsville, 
Pa., died Jan. 27. Spouse: Myrtle 
Miller Myers. Parents: Robert and 
Maude King Myers (deceased). 
Other survivors: children Carolyn 
Raber, Eldora Hochstedler, James, 
Russell, Robert, Lyle; 15 grand- 
children; three great-grandchil- 
dren. Funeral: Jan. 30 at Sunny- 
side Mennonite Church, Conneaut 
Lake, Pa. 


Penner, Anna Epp, 90, Beatrice, 
Neb., died Jan. 30. Spouse: Paul 
Penner (deceased). Parents: John 
and Anna Reimer Epp (deceased). 
Survivors: children Ervin, Don, 
Gene, Leona; eight grandchil- 
dren; 10 great-grandchildren. 
Funeral: Feb. 2 at Beatrice, Neb. 
Rempel, Irene Bartel, 86 , 
Claremore, Okla., died Feb. 10. 
Spouse: Leonhard Rempel 
(deceased). Parents: John and 
Sara Quiring Bartel (deceased). 
Survivors: children Sylvia Froese, 
Dilores Rempel Suderman; three 
grandchildren; eight great- 
grandchildren. Funeral: Feb. 13 
at Bethel College Mennonite 
Church, North Newton, Kan. 
Seibert, Minnie Unruh, 95, 
Great Bend, Kan., died Jan. 22 of 
complications from surgery. Sur- 
vivors: children Lowell "Dutch," 
Kenneth, Twila James, Rosemary 
George; 12 grandchildren; 11 
great-grandchildren. Funeral: 
Jan. 25 at Bergthal Mennonite 
Church, Pawnee Rock, Kan. 


Shank, Naomi Martin, 92, 

Chambersburg, Pa., died Jan. 5. 
Spouse: Charlie Shank (deceased). 
Parents: Joseph and Hettie Horst 
Martin (deceased). Survivors: 
stepchildren Ruth Diller, Glenn, 
Marlin, Raymond; 28 stepgrand- 
children; 63 stepgreat-grandchil- 
dren; numerous stepgreat-great 
grandchildren. Funeral: Jan. 9 at 
Marion Mennonite Church, 
Chambersburg. 

Weaver, Arthur, 81, Elkhart, 
Ind., died Feb. 4. Spouse: Mary 
Jane Kilmer Weaver; Parents: 
Clarence and Mary Weaver 
(deceased). Other survivors: 
children Frances Weaver-Grill, 
Loren. Memorial service: Feb. 8 
at Hiveiy Avenue Mennonite 
Church, Elkhart. 

Correction: In the Jan. 26 list- 
ing of Arnold Siemens' death, his 
mother's name was Elise Froese 
Siemens, and a memorial service 
will be held April 8 in Buhler, Kan. 


classifieds 

• Menno Haven Camp and Retreat Center, located in central Illinois, 
seeks an executive director. For a job description, contact Doug Roth, 309- 
263-8933, or Wanda Bouwman, 630-427-1317. 

• Hope Mennonite Church, Wichita, Kan., seeks a half-time director 
of ministry development To learn more about this exciting opportunity, 
please contact Search Committee, 868 N. Maize Road, Wichita, KS 67212; 
316-722-0903; fax 316-722-5173. 

• Michigan State University Mennonite Fellowship, dual confer 
ence, attendance 40 to 50, is seeking a part-time interim pastor (up to 
half-time for two years). Job description available. 

Submit resume, references and letter of interest to John Snyder, 2216 
Forest Rd., Lansing, Ml 48910; 517-393-0378; email jlsnyder@acd.net. Please 
apply by March 23. MSU-MF supports affirmative action and equal opportu- 
nity in hiring. 

• Opportunities for service! Eastern Mennonite Missions has 

opportunities for people from youth to retirees to serve overseas in min- 
istries that include teaching, leadership development, church planting and 
community development, for one or more years. A few of our current needs 
include leadership development among the Maasai in Kenya, and teachers 
for missionary children in Asia. 

If God is nudging you to find out more, please call Mark Emerson or Ruth 
Durborow at 717-898-2251. 

• Penn View Christian School is seeking a certified guidance coun- 
selor beginning in the 1999-2000 school year. This full-time position 
involves relating to students, parents and teachers in a kindergarten through 
eighth grade setting. Experience desired. Penn View serves 560 students in 
southeastern Pennsylvania. 

Send resume to Robert Rutt, Penn View Christian School, 420 Cowpath 
Rd., Souderton, PA 18964. 


theMennonite March 2, 1999 


13 




classifieds 


• Lehman's Store needs an accounts payable clerk to accurately 
post, file, match and verify invoices and other accounting functions using our 
state of the art computer system. Attention to detail, thorough understand- 
ing of debits and credits important. Five years experience in similar sized 
company or two-year accounting degree required. Competitive pay package 
including free hospitalization, generous retirement package and great work- 
ing environment. 

Send resume to Lehman's, Attn. Donna, P.0. Box 41, Kidron, OH 44636. 
An Equal Opportunity Employer 



New resources 


“These things are written that 
you may believe ...” 

The Gospel 
of John 


Faith & Life Press 

Newton, Kan. 1-800-743-2484 

Herald Press 

Scottdale, Pa. 1-800-245-7894 

Provident Bookstores 

1-800-759-4447 


• Adult Bible Study 
with Sue Clemmer 
Steiner 

• Builder teaching 
with Phil Bender 
and J. Robert 
Charles 


• Adult Bible Study 
OnLine updates at 
http://www.mph.org/abs 

• Rejoice! Devotionals 
of daily prayer and 
piety 

• That You May 
Believe video with 
Myron Augsburger 
and Jack Suderman 


• First Mennonite Church is a mature, General Conference congrega- 
tion of 225 members situated near downtown Saskatoon. We are in need of 
a full-time experienced associate pastor with an Anabaptist foundation. 

This person will have strong gifts in teaching, leadership and outreach; will 
be Spirit-filled, highly motivated with good interpersonal skills; will have the 
ability to reach out to the broader community, especially younger genera- 
tions. 

Please send resumes to Search Committee, c/o Albert Warkentin, 

1 1 2-2305 Adelaide St. East, Saskatoon, SK S7J 5H6. 

• The Conference of Mennonites in B.C. requires a full-time con- 
ference minister to minister to, be a support for and resource to pastors of 

I B.C. churches. The conference minister should also be available to congrega- 
tions for counsel pertaining to their pastoral needs. Although primary 
| responsibilities are pastoral, the conference minister will also be the coordi- 
nator of conference direction and of the conference office. The position will 
begin Sept. 1, 1999. 

Please submit application with resume and request for job description 
to George Hoeppner, chair of search committee, 2191 Maywood Ct., Abbots- 
ford, BC V2S 4Y9; 604-853-0829 (H); 604-856-8454 (0); fax 604-856-8436. 

• Elizabethtown Mennonite Church, Elizabethtown, Pa., seeks a 
full-time pastor and a full-time associate pastor to shepherd a congrega- 
tion of approximately 225 members. We are a member of the Lancaster Con- I 
ference of Mennonite Churches and have an active interest in mission. The 
congregation's membership is diversified in its interests and occupations. 
Candidates should have a college degree and the senior pastor also have 
seminary training. 

Please respond by letter and resume to David Leaman, 53 Woodbine 
• Drive, Hershey, PA 17033. 

• Hesston College invites applications for the position of associate 
director of development. Qualifications: responsibility, integrity, ability to 
work independently, excellent communication skills and understanding of 
and commitment to the Mennonite church, Hesston College and Mennonite 
higher education. The associate director of development cultivates relation- 
ships with constituents, develops and implements Annual Fund strategies, 
coordinates donor programs and manages development office efforts in his 
or her assigned region. 

Send resume and cover letter to Elam Peachey, director of development, 
Hesston College, Box 3000, Hesston, KS 67062. Questions? Call 316-327- 
8149 or email elamp@hesston.edu. EOE 

• Mennonite Central Committee is actively recruiting for a materi- 
al resource coordinator for the MCC material resource center at The Depot 
in Goshen, Ind. The coordinator's responsibilities are to oversee the collection 
and processing of material resources for shipment. The coordinator is on MCC 
staff. The position is scheduled to be filled by March 1, 1999. 

For more information, or to receive a copy of the job description, please 
contact Prem Dick or Goldie Kuhns at MCC Human Resources Dept., 717-859- 
1151, email psd@mcc.org or gpk@mcc.org; or Dan Beachy at The Depot, 
219-534-4070; or MCC Great Lakes, 330-857-7721 . All MCC workers are 
expected to exhibit a commitment to a personal Christian faith and disciple- 
ship, active church membership and nonviolent peacemaking. 

• Second Mile seeks a part-time project editor tor new North Ameri- 
can congregational peace program designed by Mennonites and Church of 
the Brethren to help congregations take deliberate steps in peace witness. 
Applicants should have background in Anabaptist peace theology, familiarity 
with Anabaptist constituencies, expertise in writing and editing curriculum, 
grasp of different learning styles, experience in organizing and leading proj- 

! ects. Responsibilities include refining format, developing writers' workshop, 
directing and working with writers, editing manuscripts. 

Inquiries and application requests due by March 15, 1999 to Doug 
Krehbiel, General Conference Mennonite Church, 722 Main St., P.0. Box 347, 
Newton, KS 67114; 316-283-5100; email dougk@gcmc.org. Applications due 
March 31, 1999. Position begins April 30, 1999. Women and people of color 
are encouraged to apply. 


Classified advertising space is available at $1.10 per 
word, minimum of $30, for one-time placement. For 
more information, call 800-790-2498 and ask for 
Melanie Mueller. 


14 


theMennonite March 2, 1999 



Sin, repentance and membership 


S hould a police officer be given member- 
ship in a Mennonite congregation? What 
about an unmarried couple who are living 
together? 

Although practices differ, most Mennonites 
would probably reject offering membership to 
these people. We may use this rationale: (1) as 
a denomination we have taken an official posi- 
tion that various actions are a sin (e.g., the use 
or threat of violent force, and sex outside mar- 
riage), (2) membership in a congregation 
necessitates a willingness to repent of one’s 
sin, (3) people who continue to engage in 
these actions are not repentant, (4) therefore it 
is wrong to accept them into membership. 

This rationale makes sense to me, and I 
respect its use. But based on my pastoral expe- 
rience and my understanding of repentance, it 
sometimes fails on the third point. Perhaps 
these are repentant people, and if so I must 
keep the membership door open. 

Here are five possible responses to sin: (1) 
a sin is recognized, regretted and discontin- 
ued; (2) a sin is recognized and regretted but 
is only slowly or partially discontinued; (3) a 
sin is recognized and regretted but continues; 
(4) a sin is recognized but is purposely contin- 
ued; (5) a sin is not recognized and therefore 
continues. Which of these responses represent 
genuine repentance? Which do not? 

Clearly the first response represents repen- 
tance. And in the majority of cases, we would 
accept the second as genuine. The third is 
more troubling. If behavior is unchanged, we 
tend to doubt that the repentance is genuine. 

Perhaps it depends on whether the person 
is self-deceptive, lazy or caught in an addictive 
habit stronger than one’s will power. In any 
case, we must keep in mind Jesus’ warning not 
to reject the repentance of those who sin and 
repent even seven times a day (Luke 17:3-4). 

The fourth response is not repentance. But 
what about the fifth? If a sin is not recognized, 
it is not being consciously regretted or repent- 
ed of. But does that mean people with unrec- 
ognized sins in their lives are unrepentant? 

Repentance does not mean we are aware of 
all of our sins but that we are aware of our per- 
vasive selfishness, for which we are profoundly 
sorry, and we turn our lives over to God for 
God to be in control and lead us. Once we are 
in a state of repentance, God’s Spirit gradually 
reveals particular sins in our lives, permitting 
us to change those sins. The mutual account- 
ability of a congregation is a part of this nur- 
turing. But the Spirit convicting us of sin 


continues throughout our lives. 

I have never met a person who did not have 
unrecognized (and therefore unrepentant) 
sins. We all can point out the faults of others 
more easily than our own. Our culture blinds 
us to sinful and destructive behaviors we par- 
ticipate in daily, such as driving cars that pol- 
lute the air and contribute to global warming. 
No one joins a church without carrying a load 
of unrecognized sins. And just because some- 
one, even a congregation, tells us a particular 
behavior is wrong does not mean we will be 
able to see it that way. We cannot be forced to 
regret what we have not yet, by our own Spirit- 
led conscience, discovered to be wrong. 

Doesn’t receiving a police officer or a sexu- 
ally involved couple into membership imply 
acceptance of their sins? By itself, no. When an 
overweight person is taken into membership, 
is the congregation accepting gluttony? When 
a smoker is taken into membership, is the con- 
gregation accepting smoking? When the 
owner of a luxury car is taken into member- 
ship, is the congregation accepting status-seek- 
ing or consumerism? A congregation’s stand 
on particular sins is made clear by what it 
teaches and strives for, not by who it takes into 
membership. It is a fundamental Christian doc- 
trine that we can and must make a distinction 
between accepting sinners and accepting sin. 

The basis for membership in the church 
should not be whether a candidate is or is not 
committing a particular sin, unless that sin 
threatens others’ safety. Rather we should 
focus on genuine commitment to Jesus Christ 
as Lord, evidence of God’s Spirit at work, 
openness to mutual accountability and growth, 
and support for the mission of the Mennonite 
church. If we make repentance (and church 
membership) an ethical achievement, we are 
doing what Jesus and Paul said not to do, since 
this leads to spiritual pride, dividing people 
into moral categories and righteousness based 
on works instead of faith in God’s grace. 

Whether a candidate for membership is 
repentant or not can only be discerned by 
believers intimately acquainted with that per- 
son. Membership in a local congregation must 
be discerned and decided by people in that 
congregation. A conference may provide 
guidelines for congregations to use, but on a 
case-by-case basis, only the congregation can 
decide. 

Ryan Ahlgrim is pastor at First Mennonite 
Church, Indianapolis. 


by Ryan Ahlgrim 


Faith resources 

Leaving Anabaptism: From 
Evangelical Mennonite 
Brethren to Fellowship of 
Evangelical Bible Churches by 
Calvin W. Redekop (Pandora 
Press, 1998, $19.99 U.S., $29 
Cdn.) blends storytelling 
with sociohistorical analysis. 

When Someone You Love Is 
Dying: Making Wise Decisions 
at the End of Life by David 
Clark and Peter Emmett 
(Bethany House, 1998, 

$8.99) offers guidance for 
people in crisis. 

Congregational Trauma as a 
Basis for Hope and Healing 
by Jill M. Hudson (Alban 
Institute, 1998, $14.95) 
addresses care strategies, 
adapting worship, assess- 
ment tools for measuring 
healing, handling the media 
and how tragedy can give 
rise to learning. 

From Stuck to Unstuck — 
Congregational Impasse by 
Kenneth A. Halstead (Alban 
Institute, 1998, $18.25) 
helps leaders and congrega- 
tions free themselves from 
deadlock on issues. 

Pregnant and Single: Help for 
the Tough Choices by Linda 
Roggow and Carolyn Owens 
(Herald Press, 1998, $8.99 
U.S., $13.35 Cdn.) discusses 
pregnancy, adoption, single 
parenting and marriage. 


theMennonite March 2, 1999 


15 


*****CAR-RT SORT 



****************** 

< 1 6 6 5 1 > 

.400203 5 1C * 

LIBRARY 

ASSOC MENN BIBLICAL SEM 
3003 BENHAM AVE 
ELKHART IN 45517-1999 


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53 


Gordon Houser 


The power of symbolic action 

Do this in remembrance of me. — Luke 22:19 

Jesus knew the power of symbolic action, 
which was a part of his culture, his religious 
upbringing. Jews celebrated Passover to 
remember their liberation from bondage in 
Egypt. They built booths (“succoth”) to cele- 
brate the ingathering of the harvest. 

From the Scriptures Jesus knew about 
prophets like Isaiah, who “walked naked and 
barefoot for three years as a sign and a portent 
against Egypt and Ethiopia” (Isaiah 20:3), and 
Ezekiel, who lay on his left and his right sides 
for 390 days to communicate the length of pun- 
ishment for Israel and Judah. 

Jesus performed actions to signify meaning 
beyond the deeds themselves. He ate with 
“sinners,” drove money changers from the 


Perhaps more symbolic actions in our worship would 
enhance our experience of God's presence among us, a 
truth we proclaim in words. 


temple, rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, sent 
a “legion” of demons into a herd of pigs, plus 
many more such deeds. 

We may employ symbolic actions in our 
lives and in our worship to help us experience 
what it means to follow the way of Jesus. One 
obvious example is our participation in Com- 
munion, a practice Jesus began and called us 
to observe in order to remember him. 

On Feb. 17 I attended an Ash Wednesday 
service at an Episcopal church. The liturgy 
helped me remember that “from dust you are 
made and to dust you shall return” (from The 
Book of Common Prayer). It helped me recom- 
mit myself to following Jesus, which includes 
repentance and sacrifice. 

Mennonite worship mostly involves singing 
and speaking. We tend to avoid symbolic 
actions, with one exception — foot washing. 
The illustration on this week’s cover of Jesus 
washing Peter’s feet is a powerful symbol of 
servanthood. And performing such an act is a 
good reminder of the stance we are to take 


with our brothers and sisters in the church, 
that of a servant. 

Perhaps more symbolic actions in our wor- 
ship would enhance our experience of God’s 
presence among us, a truth we proclaim in 
words. I’ve been in churches where wor- 
shipers bow before an image of Christ at the 
front (such as a crucifix or an icon). For them 
this action is not bowing to the image but to 
the Lord we worship. It is a sign of reverence. 

Such actions affect not only individuals but 
can have a unifying effect on the congregation. 
Despite whatever differences we have, we 
come together to the Lord’s Table as sinners 
seeking God’s love and forgiveness in our 
lives. 

Symbolic actions not only aid us in our wor- 
ship; they also aid us in our mission. They can 
help us walk in others’ shoes. According to 
National Catholic Reporter, seventh-grade stu- 
dents at St. Odilia School in Shoreview, Minn., 
took part in a poverty unit designed by the 
school’s computer science teacher, Linda 
Hanson. Her students had to apply for public 
assistance and complete application forms to 
move into a homeless shelter, a project that 
took hours. Students filled out long, complex 
forms and headed for a line. After waiting in 
line, some encountered a “processor” who 
either spoke only Spanish or was such a nit- 
picker that they had to redo their forms and 
stand in line again. 

“This taught the students about the dehu- 
manizing aspect of poverty,” Hanson says. 
Anna Lamusga, a student, says she will never 
again stare at a poor person. “I have an under- 
standing of how they must feel,” she says. 

Christian Peacemaker Teams helps us 
relate to others’ suffering and call our leaders 
to justice. CPT’s ‘Tent for Lent” campaign asks 
people to pitch a tent at a government building 
or in their congregation to remind themselves 
and others that the Israeli government is 
demolishing homes of Palestinians, who must 
then live in tents (see The Mennonite, Feb. 23, 
page 14) . Staying in a tent helps us feel these 
people’s plight. 

Let us find new ways to worship God and 
follow Jesus’ call to justice and compassion. 
Symbolic actions can help us in this quest. — gh 


16 


theMennonite March 2, 1999 



AMBS 

LIBRARY m V 
ELKHART, IN 


K l 


' & 


5 What I'd like to give my children 

6 Jesus the mediator, Jesus the servant 

9 Ortiz named MCC U.S. executive director 
16 The golden challenge of right relations 




s say readers say readers say 


This publication welcomes 
your letters, either about our 
content or about issues fac- 
ing the Mennonite church. 
Please keep your letters 
brief — two or three para- 
graphs — and about one 
subject only. We reserve the 
right to edit for length and 
clarity. Publication is also 
subject to space limitations. 
Send your letters to Readers 
Say, The Mennonite, P.0. Box 
347, Newton, KS 67114. 

Or you can email us at: 
theMennonite@gcmc.org. 
Please include your name 
and address. We will not 
print letters sent anony- 
mously, though we may 
withhold names at our dis- 
cretion . — Editors 


Integration issues 

A great impetus for rebirth could be nurtured 
by declaring that no congregation will be part 
of the integrated Mennonite Church until it 
decides to support its vision and mission. Each 
congregation could be given a packet that 
would include the new denomination’s vision, a 
summary of the confession of faith, description 
of the denomination’s programs and resources, 
and a synopsis of the ministerial leadership 
polity. The congregation could review these doc- 
uments and by a corporate vote make a com- 
mitment to the new denomination and to an 
area conference. It could also decide not to 
make that commitment. 

The decision to support would be submitted 
to denominational and area conference offices. 
The congregational action would be received 
without censure. The intention of the congre- 
gation would be enough to validate participation 
in the new denomination. Every congregation 
could then actively participate in the rebirth of 
a denomination poised to move into the new 
millennium. — Ed Rempel, Colorado Springs, Colo. 

Re integration (I’d rather call it a union) and 
the expulsion of congregations with dual mem- 
berships: Just as forcefully as they were 
expelled by one area conference, they were 
retained by the other conference. The confer- 
ences are in the union due to the fact that the 
merger is a merger of conferences, not con- 
gregations or individual people. 

Therefore, all we affirm in the establishment 
of the union is that congregations are part of 
one conference. A congregation doesn’t need 
to belong to two conferences to have accep- 
tance. Being “owned” by one conference is all 
that can be asked of any congregation or per- 
son. This doesn’t mean discipline of individu- 
als or congregations should stop. It just can’t 
be done in the framework of a union of confer- 
ences. — Paul Kauffman, Harrisonburg, Va. 


The Feb. 9 issue had some excellent articles 
on integration. The love and trust that Peter 


Pontius' Puddle 


by Joel Kauffmann 



Dyck mentioned (Speaking Out) should be 
embraced by all of us so that we can attain the 
unity and trust that Jim Schrag pointed out 
(“Facing Up to Our Differences”). May God 
bless all of us who are being affected by the 
merger. — Ivan Amstutz, Dalton, Ohio 

Blessings from small sacrifices 

A letter from the Feb. 9 issue has reaffirmed 
why I remain a subscriber of The Mennonite. 

Carl Hansen of Ethiopia challenges Mennonite 
churches, schools and institutions in North 
America to consider a 1 percent to 10 percent 
tithe on all building projects, to be given to the 
many needy sister churches in the Third World. 

In the initial discussions of my own church’s 
proposed building addition, such a tithe was 
considered but somewhere along the way was 
lost. As worthy as the vision for local mission 
is, the fact remains that our projects are carried 
out with the full knowledge that our brothers 
and sisters around the world have far less than 
we do. In most areas of North America, the 
local mission of the church would not suffer as 
a result of a 10 percent tithe. Additionally, it 
would be a blessing to witness the good that 
could come from a small sacrifice on our part 
when placed in the hands of the truly needy. 

Thank you, Carl, for the challenge of speak- 
ing out on the sin of neglecting the poor, which 
hits home harder for most of us reading this 
magazine than does the overemphasized sin of 
homosexuality. — Deborah Good, Harleysville, Pa. 

Good and radical 

Gerald Biesecker-Mast’s article “The Radical 
Mission of Teaching and Thinking” and the 
editorial about Mennonite schools (both Feb. 

2) were greatly appreciated. I hope that all par- 
ents with children in middle and high schools 
read these articles. As a graduate of Goshen 
(Ind.) College, I believe that our Mennonite 
church colleges are among the best. — Carolyn 
Lehman Henry, Clinton, N. Y. 

Editorial inspiration 

Thank you for your always excellent editorials. 

In “Past and Present Demonstrate Hope for 
Future Leadership” (Feb. 9), Rich Preheim 
draws a fine lesson of hope and encourage- 
ment from the exemplary and enormously 
inspiring life of Robert Kreider. How grateful 
we are to have known this man! From this pin- 
nacle you lead us on to hope in our own reality, j 
In “Only by Prayer and Fasting” (Feb. 16), J. j 
Lome Peachey provides discernment I need 


2 


theMennonite March 9, 1999 


theMennonite 

Vol. 2, No. 10, March 9, 1999 



features 

Be a CO against contentious debate 

Peacemakers are those who minister to victims on both sides 

What I'd like to give my children 

If I could name one gift, it would be Jesus-inspired compassion 

Jesus the mediator • An Ethopian foot washing • Jesus the servant 

Three meditations for the season of Lent 

departments 

News 

East African connections • MCC meetings • down on the farm 

Newsbriefs 
For the record 
Wider world 
Editorial 

The golden challenge of right relations 


Editor: J. Lome Peachey 
Associate editors 
Feature: Gordon Houser 
News: Rich Preheinr 
Marketing: Marla J. Cole 
Advertising: Melanie Mueller 
Secretary: Dotty Anderson 
Design consultant: 

Judith Rempel Smucker 


Offices: 

61 6 Walnut Ave. 
Scottdale, PA 15683 
theMennonite@mph.org 

722 Main St., P.0. Box 347 
Newton, KS 67114 
theMennonite@gcmc.org 

Phone 1-800-790-2498 


theMennonite 

Incorporating Gospel Herald (1908-1998) and TheMennonite (1885-1998) 

TheMennonite seeks to serve the U.S. context of the integrating General Conference Mennonite Church and Mennonite 
Church by helping readers glorify God, grow in faith and become agents of healing and hope in the world. The Mennonite 
(ISSN 1522-7766) is published weekly on Tuesdays — except for March 30, June 29, Aug. 3 and Nov. 30 in 1999 — by the 
GC-MC Interim Periodical Board. Periodical postage paid at Scottdale, PA 15683-1999. Canada Post international publica- 
tions mail sales agreement no. 128562, GST no. R122192453. Subscription rates: $34.95 (U.S.) per year. Group rates avail- 
able. The views expressed in this publication do not necessarily represent the official positions of The Mennonite, the Interim 
Periodical Board, the General Conference Mennonite Church or the Mennonite Church. 


Web site: http://www.mph.org/themennonite 


Postmaster: Send form 3579 to 616 Walnut Ave., Scottdale, PA 15683-1999. 


r readers say 

for Lent. Thank you for this valuable guidance 
and challenge to my spirituality in a difficult 
time of the liturgical church year and in this 
tumultuous time in the history of our church. 
— Fremont Regier, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe 

Ending the debate 

I am so glad you are ending the debate on 
homosexuality. We have decided to get Chris- 
tian Living instead of The Mennonite because 
we felt this issue of homosexuality was getting 
way too much press. — Betty Birky, Middlebury, 
Ind. 

I was disappointed to read that the decision 
has been made to omit letters to the editor on 
homosexuality. I have enjoyed and learned 
from the exchange of opinions and beliefs. 

— Carolyn Grasse-Bachman, Lancaster, Pa. 


Still not getting it 

It has been a year since the first issue of The 
Mennonite, which began as an attractive, infor- 
mative and Christian publication. The Feb. 17, 
1998, editorial proclaimed, “What You See Is 
Not Necessarily What You’ll Get,” and I did 
have high hopes that the small print used in 
For the Record would be changed to some- 
thing more readable. I was especially opti- 
mistic after reading that other subscribers felt 
the same way. 

While I may be mistaken, there seems to 
have been no noticeable improvement in this 
important feature despite the flood of request 
from subcribers. Surely more space could be 
found to use larger print and wider columns 
for the births, marriages and deaths. One way 
to do this would be to reduce the size of all 
illustrations. Beginning the lead article on the 
cover would also save space for the feature 
many senior citizens turn to first: the obituar- 
ies. — Hazel Nice Hassan, Goshen, Ind. 


Cover photo 
by Marilyn Nolt 


theMennonite March 9, 1999 


3 




Be a 

against contentious debate 


by Roger Piper-Ruth 


Like physical war- 
fare, as more and 
more information 
becomes avail- 
able we may find 
the debate has its 
roots more in 
misunderstand- 
ing, lack of 
knowledge and 
lack of communi- 
cation than in 
some great evil. 


4 


■ n World War II, many Mennonites chose 
I to be conscientious objectors because they 
I believed the radical way Jesus taught. 

| Although the cause against Nazi Germany 
seemed just, we recognized a higher law, to 
love the enemy, to not return evil for evil. 

We believe the violent methods employed 
by our armed forces will not bring about a 
result Christians desire. We cannot take either 
side or employ the methods of either side. 

Due to the dedication and sacrifice of some 
of our church leaders, an option was created 
for the conscientious objector. The govern- 
ment allowed Mennonites to do alternate ser- 
vice for the purpose of healing, mending and 
caring. In time of world war there is much to 
be healed, mended and cared for. 

We live in a culture where the normal 
course of action is to attack verbally those with 
a different opinion from our own. A better 
course of action, one more in keeping with our 
calling to be peacemakers, is to become con- 
scientious objectors (COs) to these social 
debates in much the same way we object to 
physical violence during war. 

As in physical warfare, one side of a particu- 
lar debate may seem to be more right than the 
other. But often the methods employed by the 
debaters will not bring about a good result. In 
our role as peacemakers, we declare ourselves 
COs and refuse to take either side. Instead we 
begin our alternative service of looking for vic- 
tims on both sides. We offer caring, healing 
and mending because, as in times of war, there 
are always plenty of victims in a contentious 
debate. We may find this difficult. Those who 
see in the debate an enemy that needs to be 
vanquished will misunderstand us. 

Like physical warfare, as more and more 
information becomes available we may find the 
debate has its roots more in misunderstand- 
ing, lack of knowledge and lack of communica- 
tion than in some great evil. For example, an 
issue that caused division among Mennonites 
— Sunday school — turned out to be not as evil 
as some suspected at the time. 

Great evil: Our alternative service should 
promote understanding, knowledge and com- 
munication. As COs we realize that using 


theMennonite March 9, 1999 


improper methods to deal with conflict may be 
a greater evil than the issue itself. It is a great 
evil for the world to look at the Mennonite 
church, a leader in the peace church tradition, 
and see a church unable to solve conflict with- 
in itself in a satisfactory way. 

I’m not advocating “debate-dodging” — leav- 
ing the debate behind to escape to some other 
reality. On the contrary, the CO’s service of 
bringing two sides together entails as much if 
not more research and commitment than if 
one chooses to be strongly on one side. 

Was Jesus an “issues CO”? A look at three 
passages shows us that sometimes he was and 
sometimes he wasn’t. 

The cleansing of the temple (Luke 19:45-48) 
is an example of an issue where Jesus was not 
a CO. This was not a hot issue of the day. Peo- 
ple didn’t have debates about it on the streets. 
The temple money changers were providing a 
needed service and making a good profit. 

Most saw this as good for the economy and 
good for those coming to sacrifice. Except for 
Jesus. He saw it as an issue to take a stand on. 
A holy place turned into a business venture 
was more than he could tolerate. 

But when Jesus cast out the money chang- 
ers, he used the power of his character and his 
words, not violence: “All the people were hang- 
ing upon his words” (Luke 19:48) . “All the mul- 
titude was astonished at his teaching” (Mark 
11:18b). Jesus influenced these people the 
same way he influenced people throughout his 
ministry. He spoke timely words of wisdom 
and healing. 

Jesus’ example shows that if we are called 
to take a strong stand on an issue, more than 
likely that issue will not be one of the current 
hot issues in our culture. And when taking a 
strong stand on an issue, we must not revert 
to the methods of our society but follow the 
example of Jesus. To do otherwise will not 
bring the result we desire. 

The question of paying taxes to Caesar 
(Matthew 22:15-22) is more representative of 
Jesus’ response to hot issues of the day. This 
issue went to the core of Jewish belief in their 
status as a chosen nation. On this Jesus chose 
to be a CO. He simply refused to get involved, 



When confronted with an issue, the words we speak 
must be gentle and wise, spoken in a way that makes 
understanding possible. 


to take a side. He realized that one more voice, 
even one of authority, on either side of the 
debate would add nothing. Instead of entering 
into the contention, he gave his gentle answer, 
and the tension of the moment lessened. 

Gentle and wise: If a debate is already well 
established, most likely our best course of 
action is to become a CO. Our voice added to 
one side or the other will only add to con- 
tention and strife. When confronted with an 
issue, the words we speak must be gentle and 
wise, spoken in a way that makes understand- 
ing possible. 

A final example of Jesus choosing to be an 
issues CO illustrates the power available in 
this option. In the story of the woman caught 
in adultery (John 8:3-11) one might have 
expected Jesus to be drawn into the debate. As 
a religious leader, he could have felt the need 
to defend the law of Moses. On the other 
hand, he could have been expected to side 
strongly with the woman. Jesus didn’t miss the 
fact that the woman’s partner in crime, the 
adulterer, was not brought before the authori- 
ties. The man’s absence was an unjust but 
common practice of the day. 

But instead of taking a side, he chose to be 
a CO. He was mostly silent. He pondered what 
to say and was able to give a thoughtful 
response, a wise, gentle answer: “He who is 
without sin, let him be the first to throw a 
stone at her.” This dismantled the debate. The 
accusers were able to see the victim for the 
first time. By recognizing their own imperfec- 
tion they were brought into intimate contact 
with the victim and were unable to continue 
the theoretical fight. 

Jesus’ position brought not just healing to 
the woman but the potential for healing to the 
victims on the other side, her accusers. Here 
is the power of being a CO. Instead of stirred- 
up anger, there is less tension. Instead of a 
sword of contention, there is healing. 

Plenty of people are ready to fight, ready to 
I spread fire across the land, ready to draw the 
i sword. As Mennonites we have been fortunate 
often to see things in a different light. We are 
I called to be peacemakers in times of war and in 
I times of contentious debate. Following Jesus’ 


example, we are to seek out the victims on both 
sides to provide caring, mending and healing. 

Roger Piper-Ruth is a member of 

Hyde Park Mennonite Church in Boise, Idaho. 


What I'd like to give my children 

by Ruth Brunk Stoltzfus 

There is much I wish for you in life, but if I could name only one gift, it would be Jesus- 
inspired compassion. I do not mean a condescending pity that leaves you sad while you 
feel superior and lucky as you look on those who suffer. I mean a sympathetic aware- 
ness of others' distress together with practical, personal efforts toward alleviating the 
distress. 

Such caring will help you enter the pain of others. It will prod you to speak up for 
those who cannot speak for themselves in a world of shameful inequities. It will dic- 
tate your priorities in spending money and time. It will cleanse you of excessive self- 
interest. It will discipline your whole style of life, but it will not drain your life of joy. 
You will be enriched as you experience that holy contradiction of finding your life while 
losing it. 

Life will bring you distress of your own. I pray that God enable you to be "wounded 
healers." And I hope there will always be people of compassion surrounding you with 
caring love in the community of faith. 

Jesus-inspired compassion springs from a relationship with Jesus as Savior, Lord, 
Enabler. Jesus had compassion for people who suffered spiritually, mentally, physically. 
He had compassion for victims of racism, dassism, sexism. He also gave scathing 
rebukes to those causing and condoning injustice. And he broke the hierarchical cus- 
toms of that time. Imagine what a different story it would be if through Bible history 
God had been on the side of the Pharaohs and Caesars — the rich, proud and powerful. 

Your father led the way in compassion and courage. Shortly before his death he 
said to me, "If there is a lower class, I am in it." Remember how he always took the side 
of the underdog — those considered inferior because of race, class, gender? How he 
regularly visited men in jail? How he would not laugh when jokes were told about 
minorities? Yet his concern was not sentimental. His gentle nature was infused with a 
holy indignation toward the causes of injustice — "the inhumanity of man to man," as 
he often said. He spoke out on these things to church and government officials. And he 
endured the verbal brickbats that came as a result. 

I wish for you that gift of compassion with courage (you might call it tenderness 
with toughness) — compassion that does something, however small, about the plight 
of disadvantaged people while calling to task church leaders and government 
guardians of our systems of injustice. 

I wish for you the gift of living compassionately and courageously like your father 
and like the Man of Nazareth, through a strength beyond your own. 

Ruth Brunk Stoltzfus lives in Harrisonburg, l fa. This article first appeared in Christian 
Living (December 1984). 




theMennonite March 9, 1999 


5 


Marilyn Nolt 



Although God 
works actively 
for reconciliation, 
he never forces 
it on us but 
always gives us 
the freedom 
either to accept 
or reject it. 


by Miwako Katano 


Jesui 

the mediator 


T he story of Jesus and the Samaritan 

woman Qohn 4:5-26) focuses on reconcil- 
iation between Jews and Samaritans. 
Romans 5:1-11 focuses on reconciliation 
between God and us. In both passages Jesus is 
the one who is in between. Jesus is a mediator. 

Mediation and reconciliation are becoming 
known to us in Japan. Our conference has had 
seminars on this theme. I did not have a chance 
to study it when I was in the United States, but 
I heard about it and talked about it with friends. 

The mediation we talk about and the media- 
tion referred to in John and Romans are differ- 
ent. Usually a mediator will not take the initia- 
tive unless someone requests it. Mediation 
work will not start until both parties agree to 
do so. Jesus, however, takes the initiative with- 
out being asked. He speaks to the Samaritan 
woman. Neither Jews nor Samaritans asked 
him to work on reconciliation. 

What about the reconciliation between God 
and people? People were asking for forgive- 
ness and seeking the Messiah. God is always 
asking people to repent, and God is willing to 


forgive them. In this sense, both the people 
and God seem to agree. 

God, however, works to reconcile even 
those who do not know they need it. Although 
God works actively for reconciliation, he never 
forces it on us but always gives us the freedom 
either to accept or reject it. 

This might be a cultural thing, but in Japan 
we tend to wait until time goes by when we 
have had a conflict. There is a time for every- 
thing, of course, but we need to work more 
actively at reconciliation, just as Jesus did. He 
even died actively, not in a passive way. We 
must not forget that we always need Jesus as 
mediator for any reconciliation. 

Miwako Katano, Sapporo, Japan, is a member 
of the Mennonite World Conference Executive 
Committee, representing the Asian region, and 
she serves as the MWC regional editor for Asia. 
She is a member of Bethel Mennonite Church in 
Sapporo and serves at the Mennonite Education 
and Research Center of the Mennonite Confer- 
ence of Hokkaido. 


by Ann King-Grosh 


6 


An Ethiopian foot washing 


Then he poured water into a basin and began to 
wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with 
the towel that was tied around him. . . . ‘You do 
not know now what I am doing, but later you 
will understand. ’’—John 13:5, 7 

e had ridden on mules, walked, 
slipped and slid for five hours in 
Ethiopia through the dense forest on 
a floor of mud. It was rainy season 
and unsafe even to ride mules down the slip- 
pery slopes. When we arrived at Bogale’s 
thatched roof house late in the afternoon, we 
were exhausted, dirty and cold. My socks were 
wet and cruddy, as were my shoes. My spill 
into the shallow stream had done nothing to 
clean me up. My feet ached and smelled sour. 

We were invited into the house and given 
corn to eat. We huddled around the fire to 

theMennonite March 9, 1999 


warm up. People came and went in the house 
and at 9 p.m. started preparing food for us. By 
10 p.m. we were eating our supper. Afterward 
Bogale came to us with basins of water, soap 
and a towel. He knelt in front of me to wash 
my dirty, cold and aching feet. But not just my 
feet were to be washed; for 10 minutes my 
calves, my legs and my feet were soaped and 
massaged. It was a wonderful feeling both for I 
my feet and my heart. When Bogale finished, I j 
knew the true meaning of foot washing — a 
gesture of hospitality and honor for weary trav- 
elers by their host. It is a symbol of acceptance 
into the family. 

We have been taught that when Jesus 
washed his disciples’ feet he took the role of a 
servant. We also should wash each other’s feet 
as a reminder not only of what Jesus did for us 
but of our servant role to others. In Bogale’s 






by Milka Rindzinski 


, the servant 

fesus 


J esus of Nazareth, descendant of David, is 
about to begin his ministry. After 40 days 
and nights of praying and fasting, Jesus 
envisions his task. The possibilities come 
in the form of temptations (see Matthew 4:1-11). 

Changing stones into bread is one possibili- 
ty. But if people have bread, might they think 
all is well? Certainly bread is essential, but we 
need more than that. Although works of chari- 
ty alleviate hunger, they can also play down 
the aspiration for justice. 

Jumping from the pinnacle of the temple to 
allow God to save him from certain death is 
another possibility. However, Jesus does not 
wish to undergird his mission with miraculous 
deeds or to tempt God in this way. 

Should he govern the world? Glory that 
comes with a position of power is intoxicating, 
but power is anti-love, says one writer. Ambi- 
tion comes with power and is not detained 
even if it means trampling on others in order 
to succeed. Jesus warned his disciples: “You 
know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it 
over them, and their great ones are tyrants 
over them” (Matthew 20:25). But the kingdom 
of Jesus is not like that. 

Jesus chooses the way of the servant as 
described in Isaiah 52-53. He said we are to 
serve with humility and obedience, even if it 
means suffering. “Just as one person did it 


wrong and got us in all this trouble with sin 
and death, another person did it right and got 
us out of it. But more than just getting us out 
of trouble, he got us into life! ... One man said 
yes to God and put many in the right” 

(Romans 5:18-21 from The Message). 

Severina is not yet 40; she is a poor woman 
of African descent. She has not slept all night. 
In her shack, built from discarded materials, 
she watches over her sleeping son, Biu, with a 
stick in her hand. He is down with a fever and 
cannot defend himself against the mice that 
try to nibble at his feet. Here everyone is hun- 
gry — the mice, Biu, Severina — everyone. 

Severina is a victim of the abuse of power, 
as are many in Latin America. Their hope 
takes shape to the extent that God’s love in 
Jesus Christ is translated by his followers into 
gestures of love and solidarity. They, without 
fearing or exalting suffering, are nevertheless 
eager to serve their neighbors in need and to 
intercede for them. 

Milka Rindzinski, Montevideo, Uruguay, heads 
the Mennonite World Conference communica- 
tions staff and serves as the regional editor for 
Latin America. She is the editor ofMWC Couri- 
er and Correo and does translation work for 
MWC. She is also director of studies for the Men- 
nonite Study and Retreat Center in Montevideo. 


Severina is a 
victim of the 
abuse of power, 
as are many in 
Latin America. 
Their hope takes 
shape to the 
extent that God's 
love in Jesus 
Christ is translat- 
ed by his follow- 
ers into gestures 
of love and 
solidarity. 



Jesus in his role as the host of the kingdom of God invites 
us into his home. We are treated as fellow family members, 
even friends, of the kingdom of God — not as servants but 
as his brothers and sisters. 


house I understood more of what Jesus did for 
us. Jesus in his role as the host of the kingdom 
of God invites us into his home. We are treated 
as fellow family members, even friends, of the 
kingdom of God — not as servants but as his 
brothers and sisters. 

“I do not call you servants any longer, 
because the servant does not know what the 


master is doing; but I have called you friends, 
because I have made known to you everything 
that I have heard from my Father” Qohn 
15:15). Jesus honors us by washing our feet. 
He invites us into his family. 

Ann King-Grosh is from Lebanon, Pa., where 
she is a member of Gingrich Mennonite Church. 


theMennonite March 9, 1999 


7 


lews news news news news news 


N.Y. church plant try 
shows results 

Michael Banks had never 
planted a church before. But 
that didn't stop God from 
giving him a vision to plant 
not just one but seven in New 
York's Hudson River Valley. 

Now after four years of 
prayer, research, knocking on 
doors and lots of other work, 
the first new group is emerg- 
ing in the multiethnic, mid- 
dle-class community of Mount 
Vernon, north of New York City. 

"The integrity of the vision 
requires faithfulness," says 
Banks, pastor of King of Glory 
Tabernacle, a Mennonite 
congregation in the Bronx. 
"If the vision is from God, ... 
it'll prove itself." 

A cell group of about 20 
people meets weekly for 
prayer, Bible study and fel- 
lowship. Banks spends two 
days a week in Mount Vernon, 
visiting contacts and making 
new ones . — Missionary 
Messenger 


East Africans share struggles, successes 


MUSOMA, Tanzania — Ethiopia’s gain is Tan- 
zania’s loss, church leaders recently reported 
at a meeting of East African Mennonites. 

Representatives from Ethiopia’s Meserete 
Kristos Church (MKC), Kanisa la Mennonite 
Tanzania (KMT) and the Kenya Mennonite 
Church (KMC), plus missionaries from Soma- 
lia and Djibouti and delegates from Eastern 
Mennonite Missions and Mennonite Central 
Committee, met Feb. 12-17 in Musoma, Tanza- 
nia, for the biennial meeting of the Council of 
Eastern Africa Mennonite Churches. 

Among initiatives to meet the need for trained 
leaders, the MKC has started a Bible college 
and two Bible schools. But as a result, the MKC 
is no longer sending students to the Tanzania 
Mennonite theological center, which is now 
experiencing declining enrollment and finances. 

Such is the interconnectedness of life among 
the Mennonites of East Africa. “Your problems 
are our problems,” Tanzanian bishop Joram 
Mbeba told Kenyan leaders when meeting par- 
ticipants expressed concern about the KMC’s 
delays in finalizing its constitution and in con- 
vening its bishops. 

Sharing struggles and successes marked 
the first two days of the meeting as the council 
heard church and agency reports. 

• In the MKC, said church chair Solomon 
Kebede, dedication is less than during the 


Fruitful MDS response 

Mennonite Disaster Service volunteers in Orange Cove, 
Calif., load boxes of food for farm workers left unem- 
ployed by a late December 1998 freeze in the San Joaquin 
Valley. About 80 percent of the region's citrus crop was 
destroyed, and significant damage was incurred by the 
lemon grass, strawberry and broccoli crops. Eighty percent 
to 85 percent of the workforce has been left jobless. The 
California MDS unit has received $10,000 from the MDS 
binational organization and also received $16,000 in 
donations to provide food for affected families. A group of 
nine area Hispanic Mennonite congregations have taken 
leadership in purchasing and distributing the food, which 
is bought in bulk from local markets and a food bank. The 
distributed packages also include information about 
Christ and an invitation to attend church. MDS plans to 
continue its response as long as it is needed. It will be 
another two months until pruning season starts, thereby 
providing employment. 


Marxist years when the church was forced 
underground and members were persecuted. 

• The KMC is planning to hold its first gen- 
eral conference in June, according to a deci- 
sion by the KMC executive council, which last 
month held its first meeting in two years. 

• KMT assistant general secretary Silas 
Changru has started a program to help 
strengthen small business efforts of Tanzanian 
Christians. Changru said Africans have been 
misled by teachings that Christians should not 
be involved in business. 

The council also heard about a lack of Men- 
nonite involvement in a program designed to 
introduce Muslims to the Christian Scriptures. 
The program is directed by Kenyan bishop 
Joash Osiro, who recently completed a year of 
Islamic studies in Great Britain. A number of 
denominations are asking to participate in the 
program, but no requests have come from 
East African Mennonite churches. 

At the council meeting, the MKC reported 
134,387 members and nonbaptized participants 
in 218 congregations and 559 church plants. 
The KMC reported a membership of 26,000 in 
50 congregations, although about 15,000 mem- 
bers are in one congregation grafted onto the 
KMC in the early 1990s. The KMT reported 
38,000 members in 71 congregations . — Ron 
Rempel for EMM News Service 



MDS photo by Jose Elizondo 


theMennonite March 9, 1999 



MCC board approves environmental policy, 
new relationship with Ten Thousand Villages 


ABBOTSFORD, B.C. — Nicaragua’s rain forest 
is called the “lung of Central America” because 
of its importance to the region’s environment. 
And preserving it has become a priority. 

“Since Hurricane Mitch, there has been a 
large public outcry to protect the environment 
because people are aware that environmental 
degradation contributed to the hurricane’s 
destruction,” said Susan Classen, Mennonite 
Central Committee (MCC) country represen- 
tative in Nicaragua. 

Now the MCC board has adopted a policy 
emphasizing environmental stewardship and 
clarifying ways to address those concerns in 
MCC’s overseas work. The policy was approved 
at the MCC annual meeting Feb. 19-20 in 
Abbotsford, B.C. 

Under the policy, programs in each country 
where MCC works will include assessing proj- 
ects that have potential for adverse environ- 
mental affects. Program planning will identify 
national and regional environmental issues and 
problems affecting the people MCC serves. 

In Nicaragua, for example, MCC will help 
fund groups building public awareness of envi- 
ronmental issues and help promote soil con- 
servation and use of organic fertilizers. 

“MCC recognizes that the best way to avoid 
the negative environmental consequences is to 
plan activities and strategies in ways that take 
environmental considerations into account,” said 
Judy Zimmerman Herr of MCC’s Peace Office. 

The board also gave its consent to the 
development of a proposal to restructure 
MCC’s relationship with its Ten Thousand Vil- 
lages income-generation program. As an MCC 
program, Ten Thousand Villages’ personnel 
appointments, policies, pay scales, budgets and 
strategic plans are approved by MCC. 

But a concept paper presented to the board 
calls for making Ten Thousand Villages an 
MCC-owned corporation. The reason is to 
allow Ten Thousand Villages increased flexibil- 
ity in its operations. As owner, MCC would 
approve the bylaws, any amendments and a 
mission statement. MCC would also appoint 
most board members. The Ten Thousand Vil- 
lages board would then set all the organiza- 
tion’s plans and policies. 

“Being close to MCC is valuable to [Ten 
Thousand] Villages,” said Yvonne Martin, a 
member of the committee that presented the 
concept paper and chair of Ten Thousand Vil- 
lages’ U.S. management committee. “And Ten 
Thousand Villages gives churches and neigh- 
bors a chance to be part of MCC and to put 
hands and feet to their faith.” 

A final restructuring proposal is expected to 


come before the MCC board in a year. 

In the United States, Ten Thousand Villages 
plans for a 17 percent increase in sales in 1999. 
Sales in Canada and the United States last year 
totaled $15 million. 

In other business, the board: 

• approved a $4 million construction project 
for guest housing and meeting space at MCC’s 
Akron, Pa., headquarters. The new facilities 
would provide accommodations for as many as 
96 people, two multipurpose rooms, other 
meeting space, recreation room and storage. 
Plans for financing the project include $1.6 mil- 
lion from capital reserves, $1.4 million in bor- 
rowed funds and $1 million in contributions. 
Ground breaking will not begin until $800,000 
is raised. 

• approved a 1999 income budget of $46 
million, up 11 percent from 1998. The increase 
is largely due to $3.8 million in Hurricane 
Mitch-related contributions already received 
this fiscal year. 

• appointed Ronald J.R. Mathies to a second 
three-year term as executive director . — MCC 
News Service 


The best way to 
avoid the negative 
environmental 
consequences is to 
plan activities and 
strategies in ways 
that take environ- 
mental considera- 
tions into account. 

—Judy Zimmerman Herr 


Ortiz named MCC U.S. director 

ABBOTSFORD, B.C. — Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) U.S. 
is preparing for a new century with a new executive director, a 
new board and a new structure. 

At its annual meeting Feb. 18 in Abbotsford, B.C., the board 
approved Jose Ortiz as the new MCC U.S. executive director. He 
is now associate professor of church ministries and director of 
field education at Eastern Mennonite Semi- 
nary, Harrisonburg, Va. Ortiz has been a 
teacher, pastor and overseer in Puerto Rico 
and the United States and has also served 
with Mennonite World Conference and the 
Mennonite Church General Board. 

Ortiz will start his new position in July, 
succeeding interim executive director Steve 
Penner. 

The 27-member MCC U.S. board also 
voted into existence a new, smaller board as 
part of wider organizational restructuring. 

MCC U.S. is shifting more programs, budget and staff to its four 
regions. The new board will have 14 to 17 members. In addition to 
members-at-large, representatives will come from the MCC U.S. 
regions and six constituent church conferences. The board will 
not be made up of more than 60 percent of either gender, and at 
least one-fourth of the board will be people of color. 

As part of the restructuring, the board ratified new articles of 
operation, including creating peace and justice staff positions in 
each region . — MCC News Service 



Ortiz 


theMennonite March 9, 1999 


9 


s news news news news news news 


German-language 
newspaper is 75 

From Latin America to Russia 
to Canada, DerBote for 75 
years has kept Mennonites of 
Russian descent connected. 

The weekly German-lan- 
guage newspaper, published 
by the Conference of Men- 
nonites in Canada and Gen- 
eral Conference Mennonite 
Church, published its first 
issue on Jan. 14, 1924. Der 
Bote (which means "The 
Messenger") was the vision 
of Dietrich H. Epp, a Menno- 
nite immigrant from Ukraine 
to Rosthern, Sask., who 
wanted to serve the thou- 
sands of immigrants arriving 
in Canada from his homeland. 

Over the years, DerBote 
has included religious con- 
tent, creative writing, obitu- 
aries and information about 
Mennonite communities, 
conferences, genealogies 
and world events. The news- 
paper played a significant 
role in reuniting relatives 
afterWorld War II. 

Der Bote's readership has 
included people in the Unit- 
ed States, Canada, Germany, 
Russia, Ukraine, Mexico, 
Uruguay, Paraguay and 
Brazil. Circulation is 3,800. 


10 


Help for those down on the farm 

Business training for rural poor a first for MEDA 


MONTROSE, Pa. — For many people, the words 
“urban” and “poor” go together. But not all of 
North America’s poor people live in inner 
cities. For the first time, Mennonite Economic 
Development Associates (MEDA) is address- 
ing the needs of the rural poor. 

In January, 17 people in rural northeast 
Pennsylvania began a three-month course in 
business design and management through 
MEDA in conjunction with TREHAB, a local 
social service agency. 

According to the U.S. Department of Agri- 
culture, many of the United States’ rural poor 
are employed but do not earn enough to pull 
them out of poverty. A recent Penn State study 
found more children below the poverty line in 
rural areas (21.1 percent) than in urban areas 
(18.2 percent). 

MEDA previously had specialized in assist- 
ing low-income people in urban areas, with 
programs in Lancaster and Norristown, Pa., 
and Fresno, Calif. But not all methods that 
work in those cities are applicable to rural 
areas. 

One problem is distance. One participant 
drives 60 miles one way to attend the course, 
held in Montrose. “We found that we can’t offer 
our normal 13-week, two-evenings-a-week 
course when people have to drive long distances 


to come to class,” says Kevin Stout of MEDA’s 
North American Business Development Pro- 
gram. “Instead we are offering six eight-hour 
sessions on Saturdays.” 

Another challenge is marketing. “In a rural 
area, people can’t just go open a storefront 
business,” Stout says. “They have to find other 
ways to [advertise] and sell their products and 
services, such as the Internet.” 

One thing, however, hasn’t changed — MEDA 
still uses local business people to offer training 
and serve as mentors. “This really gives us an 
advantage,” says Stout of the 12 volunteer 
trainers and six volunteer mentors. “Local 
people know best what kinds of businesses will 
work and which ones won’t. They are a 
tremendous asset.” 

Eighty percent of the participants are con- 
sidered low or very low income; all but one are 
employed. They are receiving instruction in 
competition, computers, marketing, financial 
issues, cash flow, record keeping, legal and tax 
issues, management, insurance and advertis- 
ing. At the end of the course they will need to 
submit a completed business plan. Among the 
businesses being planned by participants are 
landscaping and lawn care, trucking, wood- 
working, animal grooming and welding. 

— MEDA News Service 


Mexico City coalition aims for church-planting goal 


MEXICO CITY— Jorge Rodriguez says church- 
planting efforts require two types of resources: 
financial and human. Money is needed to 
acquire a facility. But even more important are 
people to lead those efforts. 

‘We need workers. We must pray to God to 
send the people,” says Rodriguez, director of 
CUMA, an international, inter-Mennonite 
church-planting project in Mexico City. 

CUMA was started eight years ago by a 
coalition of the Commission on Overseas Mis- 
sion (COM), Mennonite Board of Missions 
(MBM), Franconia Conference, Eastern Men- 
nonite Missions, Mennonite Central Commit- 
tee, Mennonite Brethren’s MBMS Internation- 
al and Evangelical Mennonite Church. Work- 
ers come from the United States, Canada and 
the Dominican Republic as well as Mexico. 

The goal is to plant 10 congregations in 
Mexico City, each with 200 members, by 2001. 
So far CUMA has established seven congrega- 
tions with a membership of 470 people. Anoth- 

theMennonite March 9, 1999 


er 400 people are regular attenders. 

Greg Rake, director of COM and MBM’s 
joint Latin America work, says the internation- 
al teams have been effective in starting the 
new Mexico City churches. But, he says, “the 
long-term goal is to build a strong church- 
planting team of Mexicans.” 

Two church plants have exclusively Mexi- 
can leadership. Rodriguez cites Jaime 
Dominguez as representing the first generation 
of Mexican leaders trained at the Mexican 
Anabaptist Theological Institute. Dominguez 
and his wife, Margarita, stepped in to continue 
the development of one church plant after its 
founders, Carmen and Vicente Minino, moved 
to start a congregation in Alexandria, Va. 
Rodriguez expected the congregation to strug- 
gle after the change of leadership. “But the cri- 
sis didn’t come,” he says. 

The newest congregation started holding 
Sunday services in January . — Bethany Swope 
for GCMC and MBM news services 


rsbriefs newsbriefs newsbriefs 


French-speaking Mennonites strengthen ties 

STRASBOURG, France— A group of Menno- 
nites from Europe and Canada has returned 
from Congo with a commitment to develop 
connections among French-speaking Men- 
nonites. 

Seven Mennonites from Belgium, France, 
the Netherlands, Switzerland and Quebec 
spent a week meeting with church leaders in 
Congo under the auspices of Mennonite 
World Conference. In a letter to the MWC 
executive committee, the seven visitors and 
14 Congolese Mennonite representatives said 
they agreed to develop new and current rela- 
tionships, examine the possibility of a Con- 
golese delegation visiting Europe and asked 
MWC to facilitate a network of French-speak- 
ing Mennonites . — MWC News Service 

Judge rules against contributions program 

HARRISBURG, Pa . — A Pennsylvania judge 
has ordered a Tampa, Fla.-based ministry 
organization which has targeted areas of Men- 
nonite concentration to refund contributions 



Travel with a Purpose 


cMennonite 

your TVcnj 

NORTHEAST U.S. 

September 27 - October 9 


A spectacular time of the year to visit the northeast 

United States. This circle tour begins and ends in 

Philadelphia (hotel/airport pick-up). 

Enjoy 

•/ New England in fall foilage color 

V Mt. Washington's cog railroad 

S New York City Statue of Liberty and 
World Trade Center 

/ Hudson River Valley St FDR home and 
library 

/ Penna Dutch of Lancaster County, PA St 
supper with a Mennonite family 

V MCC and 1 0,000 Villages headquarters 

V Monuments St Capitol at 
Washington, DC 

J Liberty Bell and Independence Hall 
Write or call for complete itinerary. 


MYW Tours • Box 1525 
• Salunga, PA 17538 
717/653-9288 • 800/296-1991 


to its “gifting” program. Greater Ministries 
International has promised contributors would 
receive double their money back within 18 
months based on Luke 6:38. But regulators in 
California, Ohio and Pennsylvania have issued 
cease-and-desist orders againt the program, 
calling it an unregistered investment plan. 

Greater Ministries claims the doubling of 
gifts has been financed by profits from for- 
eign trading. But the organization makes no 
public financial reports, and most payments 
to donors reportedly ceased months ago. 

Pennsylvania judge Eunice Ross in January 
ordered Greater Ministries to refund all con- 
tributions to the gifting program made by 
Pennsylvanians since a preliminary injunction 
was issued last November. Greater Ministries 
has focused fund-raising efforts in areas 
including Lancaster and Lebanon, Pa., as well 
as Harrisonburg, Va . — Christianity Today 

MDS annual meeting commemorates busy year 

HARRISONBURG, Va.— More than 450 people 
attended Mennonite Disaster Service’s (MDS) 
annual all-unit meeting Feb. 12-13 to hear of 
God’s victory over the sorrows of disaster. 

Last year was unusually busy for MDS. 
More than 6,000 volunteers served at 11 
major projects across the United States and 
Canada in 1998. Seven such projects were 
running at one point last year. 

“It’s important for volunteers, past and 
present, to come together like this to share 
personal stories of God’s faithfulness at the 
projects where they served,” MDS executive 
coordinator Tom Smucker told the gathering, 
held at Harrisonburg (Va.) Mennonite Church. 
— MCC News Service 

Hesston College makes degree changes 

HESSTON, Kan. — For the benefit of students 
who go on for bachelor’s degrees, the Hess- 
ton College board has approved changes in 
the school’s degrees. Instead of an associate 
of arts degree, the school will now grant asso- 
ciate of arts and sciences (A.A.S.) and asso- 
ciate of applied arts of sciences (A.A.A.S.) 
degrees. 

The A.A.S. adds several general education 
requirements to offer a stronger liberal arts 
program for students who plan to pursue fur- 
ther studies. The A.A.A.S. is similar to the 
current associate of arts degree and will serve 
the school’s two-year career programs, such 
as aviation, business, pastoral ministries and 
early childhood education. 


by the 
way ... 

The first Mennonite baptism 
of indigenous Paraguayans 
in the Chaco was in 1946, 
when seven Lengua men 
were baptized. — Hungry, 
Thirsty, a Stranger 


Correction: The article 
"MVS Adopts Unit in Ameri- 
cus, Ga." in the Feb. 23 issue 
should have been attributed 
to GCMC and MBM news ser- 
vices. 


theMennonite March 9, 1999 


11 





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theMennonite March 9, 1999 


record for the record for the record 


Mennonite Health Assembly 
March 25-28, 1999 
Colorado Springs, Colorado 


Deeply woven roots: 


Nurturing 
new growth 



Featuring 

June Alliman Yoder 
Gary Gunderson 
Vincent Harding 


Sponsored by 
Mennonite Mutual Aid 
Mennonite Health Services 


For registration information call MHA 
at 1-800-348-7468. 


Births 

Bauer, Ryan Christopher, 

Jan. 18, to Christopher and 
Donita (Miller) Bauer, Murfrees- 
boro, Tenn. 

Bontrager, Meagan Nicolle, 

Feb. 10, to Diane (Hershberger) 
and Jim Bontrager, Buhler, Kan. 

Clements, Isaac David, Feb. 
21, to Keri (Covert) and Marc 
Clements, Prattsburg, N. Y. 

Doell, Isaac Greenwood, Feb 
14, to Heidi (Greenwood) and 
Jon Doell, Wichita, Kan. 

Meyers, Milema Lea, Feb. 15, 
to Beth and Mark Meyers, 
Broomfield, Colo. 

Nafziger, Ayden Isaiah, Feb. 
3, to Charlene (Gingerich) and 
Darryn Nafziger, New Hamburg, 
Ont. 

Nafziger, Natanael Araujo, 

Feb. 12, to Izaete (Araujo) and 
Tim Nafziger, Goshen, Ind. 

Shank, Samantha Christine, 

Dec. 29, to Bethany (Miller) and 
Greg Shank, New Paris, Ind. 


Siebert, Talia Rose, Feb. 3, to 
Denye (Rankin) and James 
Siebert, Omaha, Neb. 
Sommerfeld, Owen Macken- 
zie, Jan. 10, to Brad and Rachel 
(Schrag) Sommerfeld, North 
Newton, Kan. 

Ulrich, Clayton Raymond, 

Feb. 10, to Jane (Weber) and Jeff 
Ulrich, Bloomington, III. 

Vicidomini, Nicholas, Jan. 29, 
to Carla (Wenger) and Dennis 
Vicidomini, Lancaster, Pa. 
Wagler, Kyle Andrew, Jan. 18, 
to Nathan and Tina (Love) 

Wagler, Kokomo, Ind. 

Wenger, Gillian Riley, Jan. 7, 
to Andrea (Horn) and Cary 
Wenger, Smithville, Ohio. 
Wismeyer, Logan Russell, 
Feb. 4, to Jennifer (Russell) and 
Shane Wismeyer, Martinsburg, 

Pa. 

Yoder-Good, Daniel Carlos, 

March 23, 1998, received for 
adoption Jan. 20, 1999, by 
Joanne Good and John Yoder, 
Wheaton, III. 


Marriage 

Durham/Miller: Jennifer 
Durham, Ligonier, Ind., and Tim- 
othy Miller, Ligonier, Feb. 6 at 
Clinton Frame Mennonite Church, 
Goshen, Ind. 

Deaths 

Bender, Dorothy Zehr, 76, 

New Hamburg, Ont., died Jan. 2. 
Spouse: Arthur (deceased). Par- 
ents: Daniel and Annie Brenne- 
man Zehr (deceased). Survivors: 
children Gloria, Marlene, Gary, 
Randy; six grandchildren; one 
great-grandchild. Funeral: Jan. 6 
at Hillcrest Mennonite Church, 
New Hamburg. 

Brenneman, Floyd, 77, New 

Hamburg, Ont., died Dec. 24. 
Spouse: Bernice Wagler Brenne- 
man. Parents: Aaron and Cather- 
ine Erb Brenneman (deceased). 
Other survivors: children Doug, 
Maureen Gerber, Linda Liechty, 
Gloria Roth, Sue Wideman, John, 
Dan; 20 grandchildren. Funeral: 
Dec. 28 at Hillcrest Mennonite 
Church, New Hamburg. 
Detweiler, Anna Mary Gah- 
man, 69, Tyrone, Pa., died Jan. 
20. Spouse: Robert Detweiler. 
Parents: William and Naomi Der- 
stine Gahman. Other survivors: 
children Dennis, Marcia Weimer, 
John, Ernestine Hamilton, Roger; 
1 1 grandchildren; one great- 
grandchild. Funeral: Jan. 23 at 
Northwood Baptist Chapel, 
Tyrone, Pa. 

Driedger, Margaret Tiessen, 

64, Chesley, Ont., died Jan. 16 of 
cancer. Spouse: Harry Driedger. 
Parents: Nick (deceased) and 
Mary Wiebe Tiessen. Other sur- 
vivors: children Marlene Toman, 
George, Sharon Gascho, Daniel, 
Mary Gascho, Jim; 20 grandchil- 
dren. Funeral: Jan. 18 at 
Immanuel Missionary Church, 
Paisley, Ont. 

Hirschler, Helen Wiebe, 95, 

Beatrice, Neb., died Jan. 24. 
Spouse: Henry Hirschler (deceased). 
Parents: Gerhard and Anna 
Claassen Wiebe (deceased). Sur- 
vivors: chidren Hildabeth Lehman, 
Richard, John; 25 grandchildren; 
14 great-grandchildren. Funeral: 
Jan. 30 at Beatrice (Neb.) Men- 
nonite Church. 


Hockman, Susan Weller, 78, 

Chalfont, Pa., died Feb. 9 of anoxic 
encephelopathy. Spouse: Harvey 
Hockman. Parents: Elmer and 
Sallie Weller (deceased). Other 
survivors: children Dorothy Halte- 
man, Pauline Liechty; five grand- 
children; four great-grandchil- 
dren. Funeral: Feb. 12 at Bloom- 
ing Glen (Pa.) Mennonite Church. 
Holsopple, Carl, 74, Davidsville, 
Pa„ died Feb. 7 of complications 
from Parkinson's disease. Spouse: 
Lydia Catherine Holsopple. Par- 
ents: Irvin and Lizzie Eash Hol- 
sopple (deceased). Stepmother: 
Minnie Eberly Holsopple Good. 
Other survivors: children Carleen, 
Charlotte Holsopple Glick (died 
Feb. 8), Marvin, Catherine Spory, 
Carol Froese, Christine Kauffman; 
15 grandchildren. Funeral: Feb. 

11 at Kaufman Mennonite Church. 
Unruh, Rudolph, 82, Enid, 
Okla., died Jan. 27. Spouse: 
Martha Sawatzky Unruh 
(deceased). Parents: David and 
Caroline Ratzlaff Unruh 
(deceased). Survivors: children 
Gary, Roger, Elroy, Karen Turner, 
Jenell Reim, Marlene; 14 grand- 
children; 19 great-grandchildren. 
Funeral: Jan. 30 at Grace Menno- 
nite Church, Enid. 


Wagler, Ruby Marie Lebold, 

77, New Hamburg, Ont., died 
Jan. 11. Spouse: Stanley Wagler. 
Parents: Christian and Catherine 
Bender Lebold (deceased). Other 
survivors: children Dale, Clare, 
Brenda; five grandchildren; one 
great-grandchild. Funeral: Jan. 

14 at Hillcrest Mennonite Church, 
New Hamburg. 

Waidelich, Arville Gingerich, 

72, Archbold, Ohio, died Feb. 13 
of cancer. Spouse: Marvin 
Waidelich. Parents: Jeff and Ida 
Yoder Gingerich (deceased). 
Other survivors: children Susan 
Lantz, Bette Dahl, Rex, Jay, Lee; 

11 grandchildren; one great- 
grandchild. Funeral: Feb. 16 at 
West Clinton Mennonite Church, 
Wauseon, Ohio. 

Williams, Dea, 65, Gulfport, 
Miss., died Feb. 13 of cancer. 
Spouse: Sue Williams. Parent: 
Carrie Reeves. Other survivors: 
children James, Eugene "Ted," 
Donna Shaw; six grandchildren. 
Funeral: Feb. 16 at Gulfport. 
Wismeyer, Luke Russell, still- 
born, Martinsburg, Pa., Feb. 4. 
Parents: Shane and Jennifer Wis- 
meyer. Funeral: Feb. 10 at Tyrone, 
Pa. 



Summer 

Institutes 


in Youth Ministry 
and in Spiritual Formation 

June 7-18 

Two outstanding programs. 
Academic credit available. 

Call 1-800-710-7871 
or e-mail: yoderda@emu.edu 

Eastern 
Mennonite 
Seminary 

A Graduate Division of 
Eastern Mennonite University 
Harrisonburg, VA 22802 



theMennonite March 9, 1999 


13 



classifieds 


Classified advertising 
space in The Menno- 
nite is available to 
congregations, con- 
ferences, businesses, 
and churchwide 
boards and agencies. 
Cost for one-time 
placement is $1.10 
per word, minimum 
of $30. To place a 
classified ad in The 
Mennonite, call 800- 
790-2498 and ask for 
Melanie Mueller. 


• Worldwide Gifts/Ten Thousand Villages/SHARE has a part-time 
professional job opportunity as education coordinator, responsible for 
assisting store's manager with outreach, education and Christian mission 
projects within the store and in the surrounding community of Champaign- 
Urbana, III.; approximately 10 hrs./week; flexible schedule and hourly wage 
to be negotiated. 

Contact Naomi Rempe, manager, 217-352-8200; or write Worldwide 
Gifts, 105 N. Walnut, Champaign, IL 61820. 

• Menno-Hof seeks visitor center manager. This full-time position 
carries the responsibilities of day-to-day operations of this popular tourist 
educational center. Commitment to ministry and good people skills are cen- 
tral. Please write or call for job description. Menno-Hof, P.0. Box 701, Ship- 
shewana, IN 46565; 219-768-4117. 

• Cove Valley Christian Youth Camp needs caretaker: semi-retired 
couple to handle general maintenance and cleaning at growing camp in 
south central Pennsylvania. Housing provided. Should have some mechanical 
ability. Send resume to Cove Valley Christian Youth Camp, Caretaker Search, 
5357 Little Cove Rd„ Mercersburg, PA 17236; 717-328-3055. 

• Eastern Mennonite University seeks admissions office coordi- 
nator: 12 months, full-time, bachelor's degree. Skills in office management, 
database maintenance and computer data entry necessary. Application 
deadline April 9, 1999. Contact Human Resources Office, EMU, Harrisonburg, 
VA 22802; 540-432-4108; ebybj@emu.edu. 

• Eastern Mennonite Missions seeks Discipleship Center director , 

Atlantic Coast Conference discipleship center in Baltimore. Position begins 
August 1999. Qualifications include experience in young adult discipleship 
and administration. Bachelor's degree and Youth Evangelism Service (YES) or 
other short-term mission experience preferred. 

Send resume to Keith Blank, EMM, P.O. Box 628, Salunga, PA 17538. 
Application deadline March 31, 1999. 

• Michigan State University Mennonite Fellowship, dual confer- 
ence, attendance 40 to 50, is seeking a part-time interim pastor (up to 
half-time for two years). Job description available. 

Submit resume, references and letter of interest to John Snyder, 2216 
Forest Rd., Lansing, Ml 48910; 517-393-0378; email jlsnyder@acd.net. 

Please apply by March 23. MSU-MF supports affirmative action and equal 
opportunity in hiring. 


• Holly Grove Mennonite Church, dynamic rural congregation on 
Maryland's Eastern Shore, seeks youth pastor. Send inquiries, resumes to 

: Youth Pastor Search Committee, 7333 Mennonite Church Rd., Westover, MD 
21871. 

• Hope Mennonite Church, Wichita, Kan., seeks a half-time director 
of ministry development. To learn more about this exciting opportunity, 
please contact Search Committee, 868 N. Maize Road, Wichita, KS 67212; 
316-722-0903; fax 316-722-5173. 

• Elizabethtown Mennonite Church, Elizabethtown, Pa., seeks a 
full-time pastor and a full-time associate pastor to shepherd a congrega- 
tion of approximately 225 members. We are a member of the Lancaster Con- 

[ ference of Mennonite Churches and have an active interest in mission. The 
congregation's membership is diversified in its interests and occupations. 
Candidates should have a college degree and the senior pastor also have 
seminary training. 

Please respond by letter and resume to David Leaman, 53 Woodbine 
Drive, Hershey, PA 17033. 

• Mennonite Historians of Eastern Pennsylvania seeks applicants 
for a 3/4-time position as executive director beginning June 15, 1999. 
Negotiating a full-time role is possible. MHEP administers a program and 
maintains a heritage center in Harleysville, Pa., which includes a historical 
library, archives, museum, gift shop, interpretive exhibits and genealogical 
resources. 

Send resume and references to S. Duane Kauffman, 141 1 Schwenkmill 
Road, Perkasie, PA 18944. Review of applications will begin April 10. For 
more information, call Kauffman at 21 5-257-7950 or check web site 
| www.mhep.org. 

• Hesston College invites applications for the position of associate 
director of development. Qualifications: responsibility, integrity, ability to 

1 work independently, excellent communication skills and understanding of 
and commitment to the Mennonite church, Hesston College and Mennonite 
higher education. The associate director of development cultivates relation- 
ships with constituents, develops and implements Annual Fund strategies, 
coordinates donor programs and manages development office efforts in his 
or her assigned region. 

Send resume and cover letter to Elam Peachey, director of development, 
Hesston College, Box 3000, Hesston, KS 67062. Questions? Call 316-327-8149 
or email elamp@hesston.edu. EOE 


• Penn View Christian School is seeking a certified guidance coun- 
selor beginning in the 1999-2000 school year. This full-time position 
involves relating to students, parents and teachers in a kindergarten through 
eighth grade setting. Experience desired. Penn View serves 560 students in 
southeastern Pennsylvania. 

Send resume to Robert Rutt, Penn View Christian School, 420 Cowpath 
Rd., Souderton, PA 18964. 


SPECTACULAR SCANDINAVIA 
and its Fjords 

June 14-28, 1999 

- wild fjords - rocky coastlines 

- green, fertile pastures - majestic mountains 
- endless summer nights - old world charm 
- gentle people - a cruise and more 

Call 1-800-565-0451 TODAY for a brochure. 

Ask about our Oberammergau 2000 tours. 

Tour M agination 

1011 Cathill Road 22 King St. S„ Suite 401 

Sellersville, PA 18960 Waterloo, ON N2J 1N8 



• Eastern Mennonite seeks the following: 

Director and teacher for its growing intensive English program. The 
director provides leadership, management and some instruction. Qualifica- 
tions include a Ph.D. (master's considered) in TES0L or applied linguistics and 
administration abilities. The full-time teaching position requires a master's 
degree in TES0L or applied linguistics required in addition to teaching expe- 
rience. 

Field hockey coach to provide program leadership for NCAA Division 
III nationally ranked intercollegiate varsity sport. 

Appointments fall 1999. EMU seeks faculty with evidence or promise of 
teaching excellence in a Christian, liberal arts environment, committed to 
I ongoing scholarship, who are familiar with and supportive of Anabaptist- 
Mennonite Christian faith practices. Candidates send letter of application, 
vitae, transcripts and three references to William Hawk, VP and academic 
dean, Eastern Mennonite University, Harrisonburg, VA 22802; email 
dean@emu.edu. Review will begin immediately. AAE0 employer 

• The Conference of Mennonites in British Columbia seeks appli- 
j cants for: 

Conference minister (full-time) to minister to, be a support for and 
resource to pastors of B.C. churches. The conference minister should also be 
available to congregations for counsel pertaining to their pastoral needs. 
Although primary responsibilities are pastoral, the conference minister will 
also be the coordinator of conference direction and of the conference office. 
The position will begin Sept. 1, 1999. 

Director of evangelism and church development to begin in July 
1999. This person will continue our mandate of reaching B.C. for Christ 
through strong relational oversight of our church planting vision. 

Any visionary servant leaders with knowledge and experience in church 
planting and/or pastoral ministry may direct their resumes and inquiries to: 
CMinBC, attn. search committee for ECDC, 303-32025 Dahlstrom Ave., 
Abbotsford, BCV2T2K7. 


14 


theMennonite March 9, 1999 


rid wider world wider world 


by Rich Preheim 

As the offering plate goes by . . . 

It’s another example of good news-bad news, 
according to Empty Tomb, a Christian research 
organization which recently released its eighth 
report on the state of U.S. church giving. 

First, the good news. Between 1968 and 1996, 
the amount of money given per church member 
to congregational and denominational causes 
rose 41 percent in inflation-adjusted dollars, 
increasing from $349 to $492. The bad news, 
however, is that the percentage of each mem- 
ber’s income given dropped from 3.12 percent 
to 2.58 percent during that time. And the per- 
centage actually increased since 1993, when it 
bottomed out at 2.47 percent. 

Empty Tomb, which studied 29 Protestant 
denominations for its report, broke down giving 
into the categories of congregational finance 
(for operation of the local congregation) and 
benevolences (expenditures beyond the local 
congregation or “the larger mission of the 
church”) . Per member giving for congregation- 
al finances jumped 50 percent, from $276 to 
$413, between 1968 and 1996. In contrast, bene- 
volences increased only 6 percent, from $74 to $78. 

Church and state, part 1 

Six months after the September crash of a 
Swissair jet off the coast of Nova Scotia, 
Carolyn Nicholson is still wondering about one 
casualty — the Christian religion. 

Nicholson is a United Church of Canada 
pastor who participated in a memorial service 
at the crash site for family members of the 229 
victims. But she and a Catholic priest were 


Y2K watch: prepared and packing heat 

Jerry Falwell says he is going to be 
ready for the prerapturial mayhem sup- 
posedly coming because of Y2K. And 
don’t show up knocking on his door. 

In his videotape A Christian’s 
Guide to the Millennium Bug, 

Falwell says he plans 
to amass “food, sugar, 
gasoline — and ammuni- 
tion,” reports the Wash- 
ington Post. “Because 
I’m blessed with a little 
food and my family is 
inside the house with me,” 

Falwell says on the video, “I’ve 
got to be sure I can persuade oth- 
ers not to mess with us.” 



barred from reading from the New Testament 
or mentioning Christ. Similar restrictions, they 
found out later, were not placed on participants 
from Native spirituality, Islam and Judaism. 

After months of asking why, she finally got 
two letters from federal officials, including 
Prime Minister Jean Chretien, who expressed 
regret for the incident. But, says the United 
Church of Canada’s The Observer, the official 
responses suggest that it was the local organiz- 
ers that went too far. Yet Nicholson recalls 
local organizers saying that their instructions 
came from higher up. 

Nicholson is inclined to drop the specifics of 
the incident. But she says that doesn’t mean 
the issue at its heart — “what is happening to 
Christianity in the secular culture” — is dead. 
“Let’s name it and talk about it,” she says. 

Church and state, part 2 

Speaking of government persecution of religious 
beliefs, the Seventh-day Adventist magazine 
Liberty offers this history lesson: 

In 1859, an 11-year-old Boston Catholic boy 
was ordered to read the Ten Commandments 
from the King James Version. The boy, instruct- 
ed by his parents not to read the Protestant 
Bible, refused. The teacher beat the boy until 
he relented. The boy’s parents took the teacher 
to court, where the charges were dismissed. 

Battle for the ages 

The 1978 Mennonite World Conference assem- 
bly in Wichita, Kan., featured the first attendance 
by representatives from the Soviet Union. As a 
result, the event also included the appearance 
of fundamentalist and anti-communist Carl 
Mclntire, decrying the visitors’ presence. 

Now 92, Mclntire doesn’t have to look to 
Russia or Kansas for a battle. He has it with 
the Collingswood, N.J., congregation where he 
had been senior pastor since 1933. 

In 1996, elders at Collingswood Bible Pres- 
byterian Church concluded that Mclntire could 
no longer fulfill his responsibilities, reports 
Christianity Today. When he refused to retire, 
the case went to the Presbytery of New Jersey. 
Mclntire withdrew, intending to form his own 
presbytery, leaving state church officials to 
rule that he had left the denomination. 

Mclntire, who is now holding services in 
his home, promises legal action, claiming he 
has been illegally tossed out of the church. 

Prior to his departure, Sunday attendance at 
the Collingswood congregation averaged 50 
people, although 1,400 are listed as members. 

theMennonite March 9, 1999 


Tidbits 

• The National Association 
of Evangelicals will hold 
its first conference on the 
environment March 18-19 
at Malon College, Canton, 
Ohio. 

• The first collegiate peace 
studies program in the 
United States — at Church 
of the Brethren-affiliated 
Manchester College, North 
Manchester, Ind. — cele- 
brated its 50th anniver- 
sary this fall. — Messenger 

• There are more than 
3,000 missionaries serving 
in the Philippines. — Mis- 
sion Frontiers Bulletin 

• The first American statue 
of the Swami Vivekananda, 
who in 1893 introduced 
Hinduism in the United 
States, was unveiled last 
year in Chicago. — Council 
for a Parliament of the 
World's Religions Newsletter 


15 


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53 


The golden challenge of right relations 


Rich Preheim 


Christianity is a religion of paradoxes — the 
first shall be last, losing life to gain it, upside- 
down kingdoms, mustard seeds and so on. So 
in another magnificent twist, it probably should 
not be surprising that a militant Muslim can 
provide inspiration for bickering Christians. 

A decade ago, Libyan leader Moammar 
Gadhafi was popularly reviled because of his 
links to terrorist activities and belligerence 
toward the West. Although he has since been 
succeeded by the likes of Saddam Hussein and 
Osama bin Laden, Gadhafi has still not worked 
his way into our good graces. 

In contrast among Arab Muslims was Jordan’s 
King Hussein, who died last month. Long on 
good terms with the United States, he was 
heralded for his stabilizing presence in the 
volatile Middle East, with its precarious rela- 
tions among Arabs and Israelis. 

So Gadhafi and Hussein did not exactly see 
eye to eye. When Hussein died, Gadhafi did not 
add his voice to the chorus of praises for the 
king. But neither did he condemn him. 

“[I prayed] to God to have mercy on [his] 
soul, forgive his sins, overlook his mistakes 

If we want our beliefs to be taken seriously, then we must 
take seriously the beliefs of others, especially our brothers 
and sisters in the faith. 

and allow him into paradise,” Gadhafi said. 

‘We also hope that Jordan, under the leader- 
ship of the new, young generation, will return 
to the Arab ranks and sever its relations with 
the enemy [Israel].” 

In one of the most contentious regions of 
the earth, one Muslim wished eternal life for 
his brother in the faith, despite the chasm of 
belief and action separating them. Gadhafi’s 
prayer exhibited respect for Hussein, even 
while disagreeing with him. 

Can we do that with our religious sisters 
and brothers? 

The landscape of North American Menno- 
nitism feels as scarred as the Middle East. For 
years we have fought theological and cultural 
battles among ourselves, making allies with 
some in the church while leveling attacks on 


others. Hostilities threaten to rend the fabric 
of that which holds us together. 

It is good, of course, to hold religious beliefs 
with conviction and passion. Right relations 
with God demands such. But in that fashion, 
we are also called to right relations with our 
fellow believers. 

Before we can join to discern God’s leading, 
we must acknowledge that those with whom 
we disagree are also children of God. We are 
all sinners just as we are all vessels for the 
Spirit’s work. We must love each other. But 
while embracing the person, we must also 
grant respect to his or her beliefs — even 
though it is easier to claim the former and 
ignore the latter. Others’ positions, if they are 
built on sound foundations, cannot be denigrat- 
ed simply because they don’t conform to our 
own understandings and interpretations. 

The Bible is filled with denouncements of 
those who think themselves higher than they 
should. Vipers and hypocrites, they are called. 
And we must take care not to join their ranks. 
Paul admonishes, ‘We must not be conceited, 
challenging one another to rivalry, jealous of 
one another” (Galatians 5:26, NEB). Humility, 
after all, is a virtue. And it is good servant- 
hood. 

What is needed is simply an application of 
the Golden Rule: If we want our beliefs to be 
taken seriously, then we must take seriously 
the beliefs of others, especially our brothers 
and sisters in the faith. If at the outset we can 
graciously allow everyone to be on the same 
level, then together we can pursue faithfulness. 
If we can’t, we no longer have relationships of 
equals, and we risk name-calling, stereotyping 
and threatening — none of which is appropriate 
for Christian approaches to addressing dis- 
agreements. 

In the end, we in the church may still find 
our perspectives scattered across the spec- 
trum. But while we take our cue from Gadhafi, 
let’s not wait until those we disagree with pass 
away — either through death or severed rela- 
tionships — before we grant them proper stand- 
ing in our discourse. Otherwise, we limit our 
ability to discern God’s leading — and lose an 
opportunity to serve our sisters and brothers 
in humility . — rp 




16 


theMennonite March 9, 1999 



theMennonite 

March 16, 1999 



AMBS 
LIBRARY 
fLKHART, IN 


7 Judas dialogues with the devil 

8 Taking steps against home demolitions 

9 U.S. executive nominees announced 

1 6 Dear God, might you send us a James? 


a time to reflect 


iders say readers say readers say 


This publication welcomes 
your letters, either about our 
content or about issues fac- 
ing the Mennonite church. 
Please keep your letters 
brief — two or three para- 
graphs — and about one 
subject only. We reserve the 
right to edit for length and 
clarity. Publication is also 
subject to space limitations. 
Send your letters to Readers 
Say, The Mennonite, P.0. Box 
347, Newton, KS 67114. 

Or you can email us at: 
theMennonite@gcmc.org. 
Please include your name 
and address. We will not 
print letters sent anony- 
mously, though we may 
withhold names at our dis- 
cretion . — Editors 


2 


Conference and consultation 

Acts 15 gives us the blessed gift of a holy 
process that thankfully moves through listen- 
ing to personal stories, Scripture and debate to 
a conclusion which the church is expected to 
accept. The settlement does not need to be 
some magnificent new breakthrough but may 
be a very practical compromise. A settlement 
is crucial in order to allow the mission of the 
church to go forward. 

Acts 15 shows that it is important to discern 
the evidence of the Holy Spirit and cleansing 
of hearts by faith, signs and wonders. What 
does this mean in our time? Is it enough that a 
person is loving and caring? That they exhibit 
certain gifts of the Spirit such as speaking in 
tongues? Is it a willingness to speak out boldly 
for the acceptance of outsiders into the church? 
Or is a willingness to surrender one’s expres- 
sions of sexuality or one’s deeply held theolog- 
ical conviction as part of the evidence of the 
Holy Spirit? 

I join others in praying for the guidance of 
the Holy Spirit for the integrating Mennonite 
Church this year. From where I live, work and 
worship, a Spirit-guided resolution to our debate 
seems essential if the church is to be effective 
in its mission to introduce others to the good 
news and to participation in a blessed commu- 
nity. — Carlyle Schlabach, Ganado, Ariz. 

I pray that the March 11-14 consultation on 
membership in the integrating Mennonite 
Church will make Christ’s highest priorities of 
unity and mission its own. I pray that from this 
consultation will go communiques to disci- 
plined congregations, as did the Jerusalem 
Conference in Scripture, in spite of reported 
unclean behavior, recognizing them as broth- 
ers and sisters in Christ and advising them to 
abstain from worshiping idols and immorality, 
letting them work out what that means. Our 
church needs this faithful minority just as 
much as we need congregations with other 
expressions of Holy Spirit faithfulness. God 
still works miracles in changing minds when 
those minds observe and heed the work of the 
Spirit. It would not be the first time the Holy 
Spirit has led people of faith in a new direction. 
—Jesse Glick, Amston, Conn. 

Cutting the fat of unrepentance 

I find it sad to see such a concentrated effort 
being made by the sophists in our midst to 
include everyone as members into our fellow- 
ship regardless of their unrepentant attitudes 


theMennonite March 16, 1999 


toward sin. Brent Koehn’s article (“Inclusive- 
ness and Challenge,” March 2) is a classic 
example of this casuistic, specious reasoning, 
which asks us to accept a spiritual conversion 
without a moral conversion (an oxymoron). 
Numerous Scriptures were cited, none of 
which addresses the subject as directly as 1 
Corinthians 5:9-13, where Paul commands the 
Corinthian church, in no uncertain terms, to 
not even associate with people who have pro- 
fessed to be followers of Christ but live a life of 
sin. A repentant attitude is as necessary to sal- 
vation as preparing the soil is to sowing the 
seed. Tares in our midst are unavoidable, but 
let’s not help Satan bring them in. Numerical 
growth without moral conversion is no more 
than excess fat on the body of Christ. — Harley 
Hofstetter, Dalton, Ohio 

Taking a stand 

The pull quote on the Feb. 23 editorial (“No 
Longer Snakes or Children of Snakes”) certain- 
ly pulled me in. But it is necessary to define 
what “truth” is being referred to in this quote. 
If it is simply what we believe is true regarding 
issues of morality and right, I agree with the 
position. However, when it comes to absolute 
truth as revealed in God’s Word, we can be sure 
that we have it right. The Holy Spirit certainly 
gives new life, but it is also active in revealing 
the truth of God’s Word. I believe the Holy 
Spirit is an accurate and able teacher. With that, 
believers can be confident that what the Scrip- 
tures reveal of God, Jesus Christ and the Holy 
Spirit is accurate, truthful and worth defending 
no matter what. I will take my stand on the 
truth of God’s Word, the power of God’s reve- 
lation to overcome my human limits to under- 
stand and the efficacious work of the Spirit in 
teaching. — Michael Danner, Roanoke, III. 

Superpower's faithfulness 

I believe Peter Dyck’s theology in calling us to 
not have separate U.S. and Canadian confer- 
ences is exactly right (Speaking Out, Feb. 9). 
However, the implementation is awkward if the 
agenda of churches in a superpower is not the 
same as the agenda of the superpower’s frus- 
trated neighbors. After three years in one of 
those neighbor countries, Jamaica, I find that a 
strong desire of Jamaican Christians is for the 
churches in that superpower to wrestle with 
economic policies that wipe out Jamaica’s 
banana industry, paying its United Nations 
debts, international debt relief, embargoes and 
the way it imposes its military, trade and drug 


theMennonite 



Vol. 2, No. 11, March 16, 1999 


features 

Lent: a time to reflect 
4 The transfigured Jesus 

4 A question of power 

5 Empty chairs 

6 Death and life in a maternity clinic 

7 Judas dialogues with the devil 

departments 

2 Readers say 

8 News 

Home demolitions • new nominees • service direction 

12 Newsbriefs 

13 For the record 
16 Editorial 

Dear God, might you send us a James? 


Editor: J. Lome Peachey 
Associate editors 
Feature: Gordon Houser 
News: Rich Preheim 
Marketing: Marla J. Cole 
Advertising: Melanie Mueller 
Secretary: Dotty Anderson 
Design consultant 
Judith Renrpel Smucker 


Offices: 

61 6 Walnut Ave. 
Scottdale, PA 15683 
theMennonite@mph.org 

722 Main St., P.0. Box 347 
Newton, KS 67114 
theMennonite@gcmc.org 

Phone 1-800-790-2498 


theMennonite 

Incorporating Gospel Herald (1908-1998) and TheMennonite (1885-1998) 

TheMennonite seeks to serve the U.S. context of the integrating General Conference Mennonite Church and Mennonite 
Church by helping readers glorify God, grow in faith and become agents of healing and hope in the world. The Mennonite 
(ISSN 1522-7766) is published weekly on Tuesdays — except for March 30, June 29, Aug. 3 and Nov. 30 in 1999 — by the 
GC-MC Interim Periodical Board. Periodical postage paid at Scottdale, PA 15683-1999. Canada Post international publica- 
tions mail sales agreement no. 128562, GST no. R122192453. Subscription rates: $34.95 (U.S.) per year. Group rates avail- 
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Postmaster: Send form 3579 to 616 Walnut Ave., Scottdale, PA 15683-1999. 


readers say 

war policies on nations that have no choice but 
to go along. 

The point is that Canadian churches have 
other concerns and special opportunities on 
their agenda than churches in a superpower 
should have. I don’t see it as a lack of love or 
trust as much as how to be faithful to one’s 
own calling. So if there is a way to stay bina- 
tional and reap the benefits of that, I would 
welcome it. But Christians in a superpower 
have some difficult homework to do that oth- 
ers don’t. Answers are not easy, but many lives 
are at stake as to whether we study how to be 
faithful witnesses in our own countries. 

— Stanley Bohn, Kingston, Jamaica 

Humility and hope 

Thank you for printing “Sin, Repentance and 
Membership” by Ryan Ahlgrim (Speaking Out, 


March 2). I consider it one of the best state- 
ments I have read on any of these three sub- 
jects. It reminded me to view my own Christian 
life with humility, and it gave me hope for the 
future of the church. — Rose Mary Stutzman, 
Scottdale, Pa. 

Heritage not a hindrance 

Some people have stated that not having a 
“Mennonite” name somehow excluded people 
from full status in Mennonite congregations. 
From my experience at Salem Mennonite 
Church at Tofield, Alta., I have felt the oppo- 
site. I have attended two conference consulta- 
tions with members of the Mennonite Church 
General Board and had contact with the full 
board when it met at Salem some years back 
and have found much acceptance. I have been 
entrusted with responsibility on the local and 
conference levels. I do not feel that my Scandi- 
navian heritage has been a hindrance. — Lars 
E. Rude, Tofield, Alta. 


Cover photo 
by Marilyn Nolt 


theMennonite March 16, 1999 


3 



Beyond the flatness of our lives rises the mountain of the 
transfiguration as a beacon of the future. Jesus opens a 
window to a different world, letting us share in the vision 
of God's kingdom. 

The transfigured Jesus 


by Ed van Straten 


W onderful things were happening on 
that mountain (Matthew 17:1-9). The 
three disciples saw a different Jesus, 
unlike his usual self. A radiance 
about him filled them with awe. 

So deeply were they impressed with what 
they saw that Peter started to talk about build- 
ing shelters. He wanted to make the vision 
stay, for it was a good vision. The radiance of 
that vision shed a new and different light on 
the lives of Peter and all people. 

But the vision was not to stay. It climaxed 
with the voice announcing who Jesus really is 
and ended with the words “Listen to him.” 
That voice terrified the disciples. The trans- 
figuration gave a new meaning to their lives — 
as it does to ours. Thanks to the authors of the 
Gospels, we know that our everyday reality 
can be transfigured, that human failure and 
human suffering is not all there is to life. 

Beyond the flatness of our lives rises the 
mountain of the transfiguration as a beacon of 


the future. Jesus is not only a good moral 
leader; he is not only a religious leader; he is 
not only a special Jew among the Jews. He is 
all that but at the same time more. With his 
radiance he changes our lives. He opens a win- 
dow to a different world, letting us share in the 
vision of God’s kingdom. It is a vision of purity, 
joy and beauty. This vision enables us to live in 
a world that sometimes makes us sick because 
there is so much killing, hatred, suffering, pain 
and injustice. Yet above the plains of suffering 
is the mountain, the cloud and the voice: This 
is the Son I love, listen to him. 

Let us listen to him. 

Ed van Straten of the Netherlands is Mennonite 
World Conference’s regional editor for Europe. 
Ed was a member of the MWC General Council 
and vice president from 1990 to 1997. Earlier 
he was also involved in Baptist-Mennonite dia- 
logue and with the organizing committee for the 
MWC assembly in Strasbourg, France. 


A question of pOWCF 


by Dave Wagner 


Dave Wagner, Edmon- 
ton, teaches math in 
Bulembu, Swaziland. 


W e are the only light-skinned people 
living on our side of town in Bulem- 
bu, Swaziland. It is a town built to 
serve its one industry, an asbestos 
mine. Expatriate white men still dominate 
senior mine management. These people, who 
control the town and live in fortress-like hous- 
es on their side, are usually oblivious to the 
realities of life on our side. 

With our Swazi neighbors we live in a con- 
stant state of readiness for sudden changes in 
our living conditions. Often our power goes 
out, but we never know how long the problem 
will persist. It could be an hour or a few days. 
It is the same with water. Sometimes these 
things happen by accident, other times 
because of decisions made by mine manage- 
ment. Either way, we never know in advance. 

We can cope with such disruptions, but we 
struggle with some of the mine’s provocations. 
A couple of times our power has been discon- 
nected without warning because “we haven’t 


paid our new bills” — bills we hadn’t even re- 
ceived yet. After enjoying rent-free housing for 
some time, we teachers received letters demand- 
ing rent at eight times the rate our colleagues 
were paying in other parts of the country. 

We feel insulted. We have been treated like 
dirt. The people in power are making deci- 
sions that hurt teachers financially and emo- 
tionally. Without consulting with us or bother- 
ing to check their facts, they make decisions 
that greatly affect our lives. They seem to use 
their positions of power to protect themselves 
without thinking about their Swazi neighbors. 

I hope that when we are in positions of 
power, we remember how it feels to be power- 
less. Most of us have at one time been ignored 
by people in power whose decisions give us 
either advantages or disadvantages. We may 
find ourselves under the power of our govern- 
ment, our superiors at work, our parents or 
our spouses. Our tendency in these situations, 
especially when these people exert their 




4 


theMennonite March 16, 1999 



by Bonnie Leanne Klassen 


chairs 



V v 
00 



Bloodshed follows bloodshed. Because of this the 
land mourns. — Hosea 4:2, 3 

T he blood of martyrs throughout history 
cries out. They did not seek to be 
heroes; their deaths were not of their 
own desire or design but the horrific 
result of humans’ choice to annihilate rather 
than create life. We honor and almost romanti- 
cize our martyrs, but we don’t want to take 
responsibility for our capacity to destroy one 
another, to eliminate the good and the just, to 
crucify our salvation. Where is our hope? 

“The chief priests and the scribes were 
looking for a way to put Jesus to death, for 
they were afraid of the people” (Luke 22:2). 
“Jesus therefore no longer walked about open- 
ly among the Jews” Qohn 11:54a). 

And we have not stopped killing. 

Living in Colombia, a country at war, where 
violations and impunity are common, I knew 
that it was only a matter of time until the vio- 
lence would affect me. 

When I lived in Canada, I never even hypo- 
thetically wondered if a friend would someday 


power, is to search for areas where we have 
power over them. It seems natural to fight 
power with power. A better solution might be 
to communicate the power we have and relin- 
quish some of this power to those under us. 

This is God’s way of dealing with power. 
God, the most powerful being in the universe, 
who created and controls the heavens as well 
as subatomic particles, allowed his only Son to 
be one of us, a weak human being, subject to 
the uninformed and selfish decisions made by 
the people around him (Philippians 2:5-8). 

We expose ourselves to abuse when we give 
up our power and security. When Jesus gave 
up his power, he knew people around him 
would kill him. Ironically, this sacrifice has 
made Jesus the most powerful person in the 
history of the world (Philippians 2:9-11). 

Where we have power, let us consider the 
feelings, thoughts and ideas of those under us. 
During this Lenten season let us give up some 
power to give freedom to those around us. 

May the freedom we experience when we 
grant freedom to others inspire us to continue 
following Jesus’ model throughout the year. 


be assassinated. Here, the question becomes 
not if but when. 

Among people working for human rights, 
justice and peace, it is only a matter of time 
here before those who want to protect the 
current state of injustice strike and kill. 

One night a gunman killed Jorge Ortega, 
the vice president of CUT, Colombia’s largest 
union. I felt weak under the weight of another 
fallen companion. For me he wasn’t the vice 
president or a person of status. I didn’t even 
know he was the vice president. He was just 
someone I had worked with for many months. 
I had seen him and talked with him every 
week. We talked on the phone, and he greet- 
ed me warmly when he came to my office. He 
was a down-to-earth person, concerned for his 
people and looking for a peaceful end to many 
years of war. He was a friend. 

Jorge had been ready to leave the country 
the next day with his wife and small children, 
exiled by the death threats. For years he lived 
under the shroud of death threats, but it had 
intensified during recent workers’ strikes. 

Only hours before he was to leave, a gun- 
man shot him in the head. Why couldn’t they 
just let him leave? It’s hard to imagine people 
so firm in their intent to kill. 

The worst thing was seeing the cadaver of 
someone I knew flashing across the television 
screen, soaked in blood, and knowing that I 
could not say, “It’s just a movie.” Who could 
get used to that reality? I do not want to. 

Now I’ll go to a meeting and stare at an 
empty chair, wondering which chair will be 
empty next. 

Empty chairs. 

Empty tombs. 

“Peter got up and ran to the tomb; stooping 
and looking in, he saw the linen cloths by 
themselves; then he went home, amazed at 
what had happened” (Luke 24:12). 

I must confess that sometimes I wonder 
what happened. I am living in a country that 
mourns and cries out for resurrections. Not 
having any other answers, I place my hope on 
an empty tomb. After humans make empty 
chairs, God can still make empty tombs. 

Bonnie Leanne Klassen is a Commission on 
Overseas Mission and Mennonite Board of Mis- 
sions worker serving with Justapaz, a Menno- 
nite Central Committee partner in Bogota. 

theMennonite March 16, 1999 


Living in Colom- 
bia, a country at 
war, where 
violations and 
impunity are 
common, I knew 
that it was only a 
matter of time 
until the violence 
would affect me. 


5 



by Sue Klassen 


What contrast- 
ing childbirth 
experiences 
these two 
women had: 
Maria complete- 
ly alone in her 
most sorrowful 
moment Fatima 
surrounded by a 
loving family 
and church 
community. 


MCC nurse practi- 
tioner Sue Klassen 
serves in Cambine, 
Mozambique. She is 
from Silver Spring, 
Md., and is a mem- 
ber of Neui Commu- 
nity Church in 
Washington. 




Death and life 

in a maternity clinic 


Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but 
weep for yourselves and for your children. 

—Luke 23:28 

I was doing rounds on a Wednesday morn- 
ing when the maternity staff told me about 
Maria. The previous evening, this woman 
— in her early 20s and eight months preg- 
nant — had arrived complaining of abdominal 
pains. She had walked alone for three hours 
through the bush. Not long after arrival she 
delivered a premature baby. Two hours later 
the little one died. Now the tiny body was 
wrapped in a “capulana” (cloth) , waiting for 
family members to take it home. 

This wasn’t the first time Maria had had 
such an experience. Her previous baby had 
also died shortly after birth, and another child 
had died of an illness at a young age. She had 
one living child. 

I sat on the bed next to her and told her 
how sad we were that this had happened. She 
covered her face with her hands and wept 
unabashedly. The head nurse immediately 
scolded her, answering my questioning look 
by explaining that if she cried she’d have 
excessive hemorrhaging. 

Physically Maria was recuperating normally. 
She did not have excessive bleeding and pro- 
gressed well in the post-partum period. The 
greatest concern now was that family mem- 
bers still had not arrived. Her family knew she 
was coming to the clinic. Not only did the 
baby’s body need to be buried within 24 hours, 
but Maria needed food, since in our small clin- 
ic the family is responsible for patients’ meals. 
The staff was adamant that because of cultural 
beliefs and traditions, they could not bury the 
body. The local pastor and his wife were not 
available to offer advice. In this hot, humid cli- 
mate, a decision had to be made soon. 

Home: By 1 p.m. everyone agreed that Maria 
should head home. A medical assistant and I 
provided her with a sandwich and water for 
her journey. We helped wrap and tie the body 
onto her back with a couple more capulanas 
and she was ready to start her three-hour trek 
home, in the heat of the midday sun. She 
headed slowly up the path, alone, the weight of 
her dead infant on her back, tears streaming 
down her face. 

Premature deliveries and infant mortality 
are common in Mozambique, but to be com- 
pletely alone without any family support is 
unusual. This was the loneliest experience I 


could think of. Is this what Jesus felt as he 
walked to the cross? 

By contrast, near the end of my friend Pat’s 
month-long visit, we happened to be in the 
maternity clinic when Fatima had her baby. We 
stayed with her through the delivery. After 
some hard labor, a big, healthy girl was born. 
Fatima wrinkled her face in disappointment; 
this was her second daughter, and she had 
hoped for a son. Men are usually not present 
during childbirth, but Manuel, the father, 
poked his head into the ward to confirm every- 
thing was OK. 

Two days later we left Cambine to take Pat 
to the capital city, then to South Africa. A week 
later, when we returned home to Cambine, I 
was informed the baby had not yet been 
named because I was supposed to name her. I 
felt honored, but what a responsibility! 

Patricia: Manuel said that because I had 
been there for the birth, and because we’d be 
leaving in a year, he wanted a “lembranqa” 
(remembrance) of our family. Our house 
helpers said I should give her my name, so 
that I would have a namesake here. To give 
my own name seemed presumptuous. I 
named her Patricia, for my dear friend who 
was present at the birth and for my wonderful 
mother, both of whom had meaningful visits in 
Cambine. Now they both have a namesake 
here and will not be forgotten. 

Later Fatima and Manuel had their “coming 
out” party. Until this event, mother and baby 
are to stay at home. The women in the com- 
munity were responsible for the program that 
included singing, prayer and cheering for the 
parents and grandparents. A big feast had 
been prepared (as big as if it had been a wed- 
ding or funeral) — pork, gazelle meat, chicken 
and fries, soda and the pink, green and yellow 
cakes my children and I had made. 

Manuel announced the name and that I had 
chosen it. Her grandfather asked who she was 
named after. When I said, “My mother,” the 
whole group clapped and cheered. They were 
honored that I would be leaving my mother 
with them. 

What contrasting childbirth experiences 
these two women had: Maria completely alone 
in her most sorrowful moment, Fatima sur- 
rounded by a loving family and church com- 
munity. One alone in death, the other celebrat- 
ing new life with a party. I pray we find ways to 
experience the resurrection and life of Jesus 
this Easter. 


theMennonite March 16, 1999 



Judas dialogues 

with the devil 


I n the week prior to the Passover feast (see 
Luke 22: 1-6, 14-23, 47-53), Judas found 
himself looking at Jesus with a critical eye. 
He loved and admired him, but he could 
not accommodate certain aspects of Jesus’ life. 
His fame, for instance, caused Judas concern. 
Judas sought solitude in order to figure Jesus 
out, but someone dogged Judas’ every move- 
ment and conversed with him through the 
voice of conscience. One day their conversa- 
tion went something like this: 

Judas (to himself): Jesus, I wonder if you 
really are who you say you are or what others 
say you are. 

Devil: And what do you say, Judas? Who is 
Jesus? Why is he here? 

Judas: To me he’s just a Galilean carpenter 
who’s got many people thinking he’s the Mes- 
siah. I don’t blame him. I blame our people. 
They’ve been oppressed so long they’re ready 
to follow anyone who proves influential. Jesus 
is clever. He’s got them thinking he’s their 
only chance of salvation. 

Devil: That’s quite an observation. 

Judas: Look at it this way. Jesus has been 
fortunate. God has performed miracles 
through him. Is that sufficient reason to claim 
that he’s the Son of God? 

Devil: You tell me the answer to that. 

Judas: Even what he says gets twisted round 
some other way. People hang on to his every 
word, as if for dear life. His promises make me 
sick. “I am the bread of life.” “I am the light of 
the world.” “I am the door.” “I am the good 
shepherd.” “I am the resurrection and the 
life.” “I am the way, the truth and the life.” “I 
am the true vine.” “I am. I am.” I’d say the man 
is too full of himself. 

Devil: You’re right. His claims raise him above 
other men. Why do you let Jesus run the whole 
show alone? Why don’t you do something? 

Judas: Like what? I can’t influence his 
doings. I only look after the money belonging 
to him and us disciples. 

Devil: Act, Judas. Act. Force Jesus to prove 
he is who he says he is. 

Judas: How? Jesus has been my master for 
the past three years. How can I force him? 

Devil: Stupid, Jesus is a man, just like you. 
The difference is he thinks he’s important. 
Don’t you know the Jewish leaders are anxious 


to get rid of him? Help them do it. If Jesus is 
really the Messiah, he’ll fight his way into 
power. Doesn’t he call himself the liberator? 

On the other hand, if Jesus is a fake, the Jew- 
ish leaders will destroy him. If you help them, 
you won’t have to worry about anything 

Judas: Why should I get myself involved? 
Why not let them sort out their differences? 

Devil: But you must involve yourself, Judas. 
You stand to win either way. If you betray 
Jesus to the Jewish leaders, they’ll repay you 
handsomely. This may force Jesus to take up 
arms quickly. If after that Jesus emerges as 
king, he’ll retain you in your current office. 
He’ll be grateful to you for spurring him into 
action. You’ll be minister of finance in his new 
kingdom. How about that? 

Judas: Minister of finance? Loads and loads of 
money? Forever and ever? Why not? If I don’t do 
it, who will? Come what may, I will do it. Now is 
the time for action. I’ll do the nation a service. 

From that hour Judas sought an opportunity to 
discuss Jesus with Caiaphas, who was the 
high priest that year. Finally a chance came. 
Judas thought he was doing a good thing. 
Caiaphas called other priests and with Judas 
they planned a way to arrest Jesus. Eventually 
Jesus was arrested, tried and crucified. 

Through the long hours of these proceed- 
ings Judas waited, hopeful. He expected Jesus 
to perform one of his miracles and take over 
as king. But it didn’t happen. Jesus was treat- 
ed like a criminal. In sorrow Judas tried to see 
the high priest, but he was not allowed to do 
so. Everything had gone wrong. As if for the 
first time, Jesus’ words came to Judas’ mind, 
“(Woe) unto that man by whom the Son of 
man is betrayed” (Matthew 26:24) . 

As if a veil had been lifted, Judas realized 
that Jesus was indeed above other men. He 
was the Son of God, yet Judas had betrayed 
him. In great sorrow Judas decided to put an 
end to his life. Throughout history Judas will 
be cursed as the man who betrayed the Son of 
God. I ask you, is there any way you also 
betray Jesus? Perhaps Easter will be a good 
time to correct this. 

Doris Dube of Zimbabwe is a teacher and Menno- 
nite World Conference regional editor for Africa. 



Jesus is a man, 
just like you. The 
difference is he 
thinks he's 
important. Don't 
you know the 
Jewish leaders 
are anxious to 
get rid of him? 
Help them doit. 
If Jesus is really 
the Messiah, 
he'll fight his 
way into power. 

— the devil 


theMennonite March 16, 1999 


7 


*ws news news news news news 


Display controversy 
leads to insight 

Bradley Krasne was offended 
by the display in front of 
Shalom Mennonite Church, 
Newton, Kan. The congrega- 
tion is trying to bring atten- 
tion to the demolition of 
Palestinian homes in the 
West Bank (sees tory, right). 

But Krasne, a Newton Jew, 
said the display should also 
include a protest against 
Palestinian terrorism. "There's 
no indignation about inno- 
cent people being blown up," 
he told the Newton Kansan. 

So Shalom members and 
Krasne sat down together to 
discuss the situation. "It was 
a very constructive conversa- 
tion," says Julie Hart, a 
Shalom member who has 
served with Christian Peace- 
maker Teams. 

It was a learning experi- 
ence for both parties. Hart 
says Krasne thought that the 
only homes being destroyed 
in the West Bank were those 
of convicted terrorists. And 
the Shalom members 
learned about anti-Semitism 
in south central Kansas. 

There may be more con- 
versations in the future, Hart 
says, possibly even between 
Shalom and Krasne's syna- 
gogue . — Rich Preheim 


Making a difference for Palestinians 

North Americans take steps against home demolitions 


NEWTON, Kan. — The painted sheet of ply- 
wood in front of Shalom Mennonite Church 
displays belief in a God of reconciliation. The 
church, located on one of Newton’s busiest 
streets, has erected the sign urging “Pray for 
Peace” on one side and “Israel: Stop Destruc- 
tion of Palestinian Homes” on the other. 

As the sign shows Shalom’s pursuit of faith- 
fulness, it may also be a sign of success. 
Reports from Jerusalem and Washington indi- 
cate that such messages from Shalom’s mem- 
bers and countless others across North Ameri- 
ca are being noticed. 

Thousands of Palestinians in the West Bank 
face the potential demolition of their homes to 
make way for the expansion of Israeli settle- 
ments. Activists opposing the practice say 233 
homes were destroyed in 1997 and 147 in 
1998, even though the Palestinians have legal 
claims to the property. 

“We see it as one of the most pressing peace 
and justice issues right now,” says Shalom 
member Joe Smucker. “Palestinian families 
who have been on their land for 500 years 
have been pushed off.” 

Shalom is one of 60 U.S. and Canadian con- 
gregations or groups — 40 of them Mennonite 
— who are participating in Christian Peacemak- 
er Teams’ (CPT) Campaign for Secure Dwellings. 
CSD links North Americans with Palestinians 
living under the threat of home destruction as 
a way to offer support and to advocate on the 
Palestinians’ behalf. The North Americans are 
connected with 50 Palestinian families. 

Shalom’s Palestinian family, Fayez and Huba 
Jabber in Hebron, saw their home razed Feb. 4, 
prompting the congregation to erect the sign, a 
concrete block outline of a house to symbolize 
a new house and a tent to represent the Jab- 
bers’ current living conditions. Shalom has also 
sent $1,000 to the family to help them rebuild. 

“It’s a prayer for new building and new 
homes,” Smucker says. 

CPT and other organizations opposing the 
demolitions say they are seeing progress, albeit 
slight. One of those organizations, the Jewish 
women’s group Bat Shalom, reports that U.S. 
Secretary of State Madeline Albright receives 
more email about the demolitions than about 
any other Middle East issue and that the State 
Department is demanding close monitoring of 



Erin Bradley applies mortar to a cinder-block outline of a 
small house in front of Shalom Mennonite Church, Newton, 

Kan. The project was part of the congregation's witness against 
the destruction of Palestinian homes in the West Bank. 

the situation in Israel. Demolition of two homes 
was recently postponed due to a court order. 

“It’s very encouraging to know that it’s mak- 
ing a difference,” says Rich Meyer, North 
American CSD coordinator. 

Campaign participants exchange letters, and 
the North Americans write government officials 
and hold public displays to show their opposition J 
to the demolitions. On April 15, Pasadena (Calif.) 
Mennonite Church plans to join a demonstra- 
tion outside a local post office, tying the paying: 
of taxes to U.S. aid to Israel and the power the 
United States has to halt the demolitions. 

The purpose, says Pasadena member Shady 
Hakim, is to give “at least one Palestinian fami- I 
ly hope by letting them know what we’re doing.” I 
CPT wants to have 100 congregations or 
groups linked to Palestinian families by the 
end of the year, Meyer says. The most Pales- 
tinian families CPT can handle is 65. That 
means some Palestinians will be linked to two I 
North American groups. 

“We just want to get another family, another 
church involved advocating on [the Palestinians’] 
behalf,” Meyer says. ‘We want to continue to 
involve more North American congregations.” 
Of course, he says, the ultimate goal is to 
cease the demolitions. ‘We think this message 
needs to come from the North American gov- 
ernments,” Meyer says, “and it won’t come 
until the North American constituents tell 
them that .” — Rich Preheim 


theMennonite March 16, 1999 



U.S. executive nominees announced 


NEWTON, Kan. — A college president, two 
professors, a pastor and a businessman are the 
candidates for the five-member executive com- 
mittee of the Executive Board of the integrated 
Mennonite Church U.S. as recommended by 
the Joint Nominating Committee for the Gen- 
eral Conference Mennonite Church (GC) and 
Mennonite Church (MC). 

Delegates to this summer’s joint convention 
in St. Louis will act on the slate of nominees for 
the executive commitee as well as on the 21- 
member Executive Board. Executive Board 
nominees will be announced later. 

Lee Snyder of Bluffton, Ohio, is the nomi- 
nee for moderator of the Executive Board. She 
is in her third year as president of Bluffton 
College. She previously served 12 years as an 
administrator at Eastern Mennonite University, 
Harrisonburg, Va. Snyder and her husband, 
Del, served with Mennonite Board of Missions 
in Nigeria from 1965 to 1968 and were founding 
members of Community Mennonite Church in 
Harrisonburg. They are now members of First 
Mennonite Church in Bluffton. 

Ervin Stutzman of Mount Joy, Pa., is the 
nominee for moderator-elect. He is associate 
professor of church ministries at Eastern Men- 
nonite Seminary, Harrisonburg, and also serves 
as moderator of Lancaster Conference. Stutz- 
man was associate director of the Home Min- 
istries Department for Eastern Mennonite 
Missions, Salunga, Pa., from 1982 to 1989 and 
is a member of the MC Council on Faith, Life 
and Strategy and the MC General Board. He is 
a member of Mount Joy Mennonite Church. 

D. Duane Oswald of Fresno, Calif., is the 
nominee for secretary. He is president and 
CEO of Avante Health, a health-care manage- 
ment services organization, and principal 
owner of Oswald Associates, which does con- 
sulting in medical group management. He 
served for almost three years as CEO of Kings 
View Corporation, a Mennonite-sponsored 
mental health facility in Fresno. Oswald, a 
member of Mennonite Community Church, 
Fresno, is on the MC General Board and mod- 
erator of Pacific Southwest Conference. 

Nominees for the two at-large executive 


Nominees for the Mennonite 
Church U.S. executive com- 
mittee (left to right): Lee 
Snyder, moderator; Ervin 
Stutzman, moderator-elect; 
D. Duane Oswald, secretary; 
Roy W. Williams, at-large 
member; and Jim Harder, at- 
large member. Delegates to 
this summer's convention in 
St. Louis will act on the nom- 
inees as well as on the nomi- 
nees for the Executive Board. 


committee positions are Roy W. Williams of 
Land O’ Lakes, Fla., and Jim Harder of North 
Newton, Kan. 

Williams is pastor of College Hill Mennonite 
Church in Tampa, Fla., and has served as 
moderator, assistant moderator and district 
minister for Southeast Conference. He has been 
a member of Mennonite Board of Congrega- 
tional Ministries and of the MC Peace and Jus- 
tice Committee and has been an urban ministry 
director with Mennonite Board of Missions. 
Prior to taking the College Hill pastorate, 
Williams worked in banking for 16 years. 

Harder is associate professor of economics 
at Bethel College, North Newton, Kan., and is a 
member of the GC Division of General Services 
and GC General Board. He served with Men- 
nonite Central Committee in Kenya from 1981 
to 1984 and with Mennonite Economic Devel- 
opment Associates in Tanzania and Cameroon 
from 1987 to 1989. Harder is a member of 
Shalom Mennonite Church, Newton. 

The Joint Nominating Committee has also 
recommended the nominees for the Mennonite 
Church Canada Executive Board: Ron Sawatsky 
of Waterloo, Ont., as moderator; Jake F. Pauls 
of Winnipeg as vice moderator; and Joy Kroeger 
of Hanley, Sask., as secretary. They currently 
serve in these positions for the Conference of 
Mennonites in Canada. — GCMC, MC and CMC 
news services 


Latin Americans: create Christlike alternatives 

ASUNCION, Paraguay — Latin American Anabaptists have commit- 
ted themselves to “evangelizing and forming communities which 
are true alternatives to secular social structures . . . opposed to 
Christ,” even if it means martyrdom. 

One hundred forty representatives from 17 countries agreed on 
“A Declaration of Commitment” during the fifth Latin American 
Anabaptist Consultation, held Feb. 9-14 in Asuncion, Paraguay. 

‘Today more than ever, the people of Latin America cry out for 
a community at the service of God’s reign, a community in which 
the signs of the kingdom of God are present,” the statement 
says . — Milka Rindzinski ofMWC News Service 


theMennonite March 16, 1999 


9 



» news news news news news news 


Indiana church has 
60 -acre sanctuary 

Like most churches, Waterford 
Mennonite Church, Goshen, 
Ind., has a sanctuary, a 
meeting room for worship. 

But Waterford has a sec- 
ond sanctuary, one without 
walls and covering 60 acres. 
Pastor Joe Miller calls it a 
"sanctuary without walls," a 
way to enjoy God's creation. 

The area, which has been 
declared a wetland, has been 
used for many purposes. 
Waterford member and biol- 
ogy teacher Carl Weaver 
leads church groups on field 
trips. A cabin on the grounds 
is used for retreats. Bethany 
Christian High School con- 
ducts environmental and 
biological studies and also 
uses the land for cross coun- 
try practices and meets. 

Other people use the 
land more informally, for 
fishing, bird- and butterfly- 
watching and reflection. 

— Gospel Evangel 


Right: In Tabeida, a village 
suburb of Armenia, shanty- 
towns have sprung up since 
the Jan. 25 earthquake that 
decimated the region. 
Colombian relief and devel- 
opment workers are inter- 
viewing potential members 
for a new community to be 
built near Tabeida. Below: 
the earthquake-damaged 
Armenia Mennonite Church. 



Colombians planning new community 
to rise out of earthquake's devastation 


ARMENIA, Colombia — Out of the rubble of 
the devastating Jan. 25 earthquake that rocked 
the region around Armenia, the Colombia 
Mennonite Church’s relief and development 
agency wants to construct a new community 
for those marginalized by society. 

MENCOLDES has received land from the 
local government to build a community for 200 
families in the Armenian suburb of Tabeida. 
With assistance from Mennonite Central Com- 
mittee and organizations, MENCOLDES will 
develop the infrastructure — sewer, water and 
electricity — and provide property for people to 
build their homes. MENCOLDES will also 
help people apply for building assistance. 

The housing project is part of a longer-term 
vision for MENCOLDES, says Greg Rake, Latin 
America secretary for the Commission on 
Overseas Mission (COM) and Mennonite Board 
of Missions (MBM), who visited the area last 
month. MENCOLDES is looking for families 
who not only might have lost homes in the 
earthquake but had been previously displaced 
by violence, are headed by a single parent or 
had no land or housing before the quake. 

‘They are also setting aside 10 lots in the 
new community for leaders — religious leaders, 
people who have organized sports teams or 
taken other leadership roles in their communi- 
ties,” Rake says. 

MENCOLDES staff is now interviewing 
families for the new community. A member of 
Armenia Mennonite Church who is a civil 
engineer is assisting with the project. 

“[Mennonites in Colombia] see this as a 
chance to create a new community,” says COM 
executive secretary Ron Flaming, who accom- 
panied Rake. “They are thinking not only in 
terms of buildings but of social structures.” 



Meanwhile, Armenia Mennonite Church is 
hoping to repair and expand its earthquake- 
damaged building. Plans include adding Sun- 
day school rooms and office space. The con- 
gregation is now working with the General 
Conference Mennonite Church’s Church 
Extension Services, which holds the loan on 
the building, on options for the future. But 
work on the church is not included in current 
rebuilding programs. 

Despite the damage, the church building 
has been used as a relief distribution center. 

“There have been previous earthquakes in 
Colombia with higher casualties,” Rake says. 
‘What is different about this one is there were 
so many survivors without adequate housing, 
needing after-care. That makes what the Men- 
nonites are doing even more impressive.” 
Most of the Armenia congregation’s 50 to 
60 attenders came through the quake relative- 
ly unscathed. They are now holding church 
services in another location . — Melanie 
Zuercher for GCMC and MBM news services 


10 


theMennonite March 16, 1999 


Service experience 
set aspiring teacher 
on career path 

COATESVILLE, Pa. — Some life experiences 
awaken new dreams; others serve to nurture 
already budding interests. When teaching vet- 
eran James Westmoreland reflects on his expe- 
rience with a Mennonite Central Committee 
(MCC) U.S. youth internship program in 1981, 
he finds the latter to be true. 

Looking for ways to put to good use the 
summer months between his freshman and 
sophomore years at Millersville (Pa.) Universi- 
ty, Westmoreland decided to participate in the 
MCC U.S. Summer Service Program, which 
enables African-American, Asian/Pacific 
Islander, Hispanic and Native American con- 
stituents to work with a church or service 
agency in their home communities. Westmore- 
land’s pastor at Newlinville Mennonite Church 
in Coatesville had suggested service, and 
Westmoreland thought the experience would 
at least be useful for his resume. 

Westmoreland returned home to Coatesville 
to lead a club for children and youth ages 3 to 
6 and 14 to 18. He met two or three days week- 
ly with the youth, leading Bible studies and 
planning recreational activities. 

Now 14 years into his career teaching En- 
glish at Coatesville High School, Westmore- 
land says his summer service stint not only 
beefed up his qualifications, it confirmed his 
chosen career path. 

“That experience helped solidify whether or 
not teaching was the right thing for me and 
confirmed that I wanted to give it a try,” he 
says, because it gave him a chance to be in 
front of children and be responsible for them. 

Westmoreland now occasionally encounters 
students in his classroom who participated in 
his summer clubs. “Seeing the kids grow and 
mature, and knowing you’re a part of that,” he 
says, is one of the most rewarding aspects of 
teaching. 

In addition to teaching full-time, Westmore- 
land serves as assistant lay pastor at Newlin- 
ville Mennonite Church, the congregation in 
which he grew up. His duties range from visit- 
ing, counseling and preaching to mowing the 
grass. He started attending the congregation 
shortly after moving into the neighborhood 
with his family when he was 5. The Newlinville 
pastor offered Westmoreland and his family a 
ride to church, and he was baptized in the 
church 12 years later. 

Sixty-nine youth participated in the Summer 
Service Program in 1998 . — Delphine Martin 
for MCC News Service 



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Conference to focus on new century 

MOUNT PLEASANT, Pa.— A March 24-26 con- 
ference will reflect on the church’s role at the 
dawn of a new century. Laurelville Mennonite 
Church Center will host “Pluralism and Com- 
munity: Conversations on the Calling and 
Character of Anabaptist-Mennonites Beginning 
the 21st Century.” Speakers will include Rod- 
ney Clapp, Gerald Gerbrandt, Bedru Hussein, 
John A. Lapp and Valerie Weaver-Zercher. 


theMennonite March 16, 1999 


11 



fs newsbriefs newsbriefs 


by the 
way ... 

In a recent survey, 75 percent 
of Civilian Public Service par- 
ticipants say CPS influenced 
their choice of a spouse. 

— Lester Glick 


GC budget exceeded for third consecutive year 

NEWTON, Kan. — The General Conference 
Mennonite Church received 104 percent of its 
budgeted income for the 1998 fiscal year, the 
third consecutive year the budget was 
exceeded. Income for the past fiscal year was 
nearly $4.56 million. 

“We’re thankful to God and the individuals 
and congregations who supported the General 
Conference last year,” says business manager 
Ted Stuckey. ‘We invite continued support 
from the United States and Canada for the 
commissions as they continue their ministries 
from 1999 to 2001 before Mennonite integra- 
tion is complete .” — GCMC News Service 

Health assembly to be held March 25-28 

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.— Mennonite 
Mutual Aid and Mennonite Health Services 
will sponsor the annual Mennonite Health 
Assembly March 25-28 in Colorado Springs. 
The event is designed for health care admin- 
istrators, chaplains, pastors, congregational 
health promoters, counselors, nurses, physi- 
cians, psychologists, social workers and 
board members of health care institutions. 

Featured speakers will include June Alli- 
man Yoder, associate professor of communica- 
tions at Associated Mennonite Biblical Semi- 
nary, Elkhart, Ind.; Gary Gunderson, director 


of the Interfaith Health Program at the Carter 
Center, Atlanta; and Vincent Harding, profes- 
sor of religion at the University of Denver. 

Bethel College gives young alumni award 

NORTH NEWTON, Kan.— Susan Schultz 
Huxman, a 1982 Bethel College graduate and 
communications professor at Wichita (Kan.) 
State University, has received Bethel’s Young 
Alumni Award. 

Huxman was presented the award March 8 
during a ceremony at Bethel, North Newton. 
She has taught at Wichita State since 1990 
and during that time has received numerous 
awards for her teaching and research. Among 
her honors have been the Outstanding Col- 
lege Speech Teacher from the Kansas Speech 
Communication Association and the Board of 
Trustees Excellence in Teaching Award from 
the Wichita State Academy for Effective 
Teaching. 

Goshen College to make Carnegie Hall debut 

GOSHEN, Ind. — The Goshen College Cham- 
ber Choir will make its debut solo appearance 
at New York’s Carnegie Hall on Palm Sunday, 
March 28. Selections will include classic 
sacred works, spirituals and folk hymns. The 
performance will be a prelude to a mass colle- 
giate choir concert. 


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theMennonite March 16, 1999 


Births 

Derstine, Dylan Joel, Feb. 17, 
to Joel and Renae (Allebach) 
Derstine, Harleysville, Pa. 
Drescher, Paul Daniel, Feb. 22, 
to Jen (Herr) and Tim Drescher, 
Goshen, Ind. 

Frey, Cameron Jay, Feb. 19, to 
Glenn and Lisa (Stuckey) Frey, 
West Unity, Ohio. 

Hostetler, Carissa Raine, 

Jan. 20, to Eric and Lavonn (Dun- 
can) Hostetler, Goshen, Ind. 

Kennell, Logan Matthew, 

Feb. 26, to Bryant and Lisa Ken- 
nell, Eureka, III. 

Lange, Aaron William, Feb. 
20, to Jill and Robert Lange, 
Valparaiso, Ind. 

Martin, Emily Aline, Feb. 13, 
to Brian and Lynn (Neveu) Martin, 
Elmira, Ont. 

Miller, Andraya Julie, Feb. 13, 
to Clara (Miller) and Maynard 
Miller, Shipshewana, Ind. 


Moyer, Andrew Warren, Feb. 
18, to Diana (Renner) and Douglas 
Moyer, Souderton, Pa. 

Myers, Annika Beth, Feb. 20, 
to Gwendolyn (Shank) and 
Robert Myers, Eureka, III. 

Sears, Aaron Geoffrey, Jan. 
27, to Sherri (Hess) and Todd 
Sears, Tiskilwa, III. 

Steider, Tyler William, Feb. 6, 
to Kelly (Fries) and Steven Steider, 
Espyville, Pa. 

Stultz, Shelbi Suzanne, Feb. 
10, to Harold and Jennifer 
(Schroeder) Stultz, Hillsboro, Kan. 
Swartzendruber, Kara 
Nicole, Jan. 26, to Duane and 
Lori (Bohlen) Swartzendruber, 
Congerville, III. 

Troyer, Loryn Frances, Jan. 1, 
to Richard and Lori (Panter) Troy- 
er, St. Anthony, Idaho. 

Wray, Tristan Mitchell, Feb. 

8, to Dan and Rhonda (Kinsinger) 
Wray, Colorado Springs, Colo. 
Yunginger, Joseph Michael, 
Feb. 1 9, to Janine and Richard 
Yunginger Jr., Mount Joy, Pa. 


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Birds « Farms of S. Ont. May 18 -22 

See migrating birds at Pt. Pelee; tomatoes and roses in 
greenhouses. Hear the Russian Mennonite story. 

Canadian Rockies June 19 - July 15 

Banff, Columbia Icefields, Butchart Gardens are beautiful. 
Enjoy the farms of BC, Mennonite and Hutterite people. 

Alaska Tour/Cruise July 19 -31 

The 49th state by air, rail, bus and cruise ship. View 
glaciers, oil pipeline; enjoy salmon bake and Inside Passage. 

Maritime Provinces August 10-20 

Cruise the Bay of Fundy, encircle the Cabot Trail; Anne of 
Green Gibles drama and farm tour in New Brunswick. 

Northeast US Sept. 27 - Oct. 9 

Enjoy history and color of Philadelphia, NYC and New 
England. Lancaster's PA Dutch and the nation's capitol. 

Churchill Polar Bears Oct. 9 -16 

Tundra Buggy ride to view migrating polar bears. 


Marriages 

Baugh/Claassen: David Baugh, 
Newberg, Ore., and Janelle 
Claassen, Newberg, Jan. 22 at 
Newberg Friends Church. 
Derstine/Reinford: Amy Der- 
stine, Perkasie, Pa., and Joseph 
Reinford, Pennsburg, Pa., Feb. 20 
at Franconia (Pa.) Mennonite 
Church. 

Duerksen/Nafziger: Susan 
Duerksen, Goessel, Kan., and 
Brendon Nafziger, Hesston, Kan., 
Jan. 2 at Alexanderwohl Menno- 
nite Church, Goessel. 
Helmuth/Koellein: Kathy Hel- 
muth, Arthur, III., and William 
Koellein, Nashville, Tenn., Jan. 23 
at Arthur (III.) Mennonite Church. 

Deaths 

Ayers, Wilbur, 87, Bluffton, 
Ohio, died Feb. 12. Spouse: Ruth 
Amstutz Ayers. Parents: John and 
Bernice Lurton Ayers (deceased). 
Other survivors: children Keith, 
John, Marilyn Beerman; six 
grandchildren; four great-grand- 
children. Funeral: Feb. 14 at First 
Mennonite Church, Bluffton. 
Kapadia, Darlene Kaufman, 
49, Stow, Ohio, died Feb. 13. 
Spouse: Shishir Kapadia. Parents: 
Malva and Irene Edris Kaufman 
(deceased). Other survivors: chil- 
dren Nakul, Nisha. Funeral: Feb. 

1 5 at Walnut Creek (Ohio) Men- 
nonite Church. 


Kauffman, Joseph Irvin, 68, 

Hesston, Kan., died Jan. 26. Spouse: 
Naomi Albrecht Kauffman. Other 
survivors: children Cindy, Becky 
Kasper, Debby McKenzie, Sanford, 
Stephen; five grandchildren; one 
great-grandchild. Funeral: Jan. 

29 at Whitestone Mennonite 
Church, Hesston. 

Landes, Martha, 88, Souder- 
ton, Pa., died Feb. 14. Parents: 
John and Mary Tyson Landes 
(deceased). Survivors: children 
Florence Landes, Alice Nase. 
Funeral: Feb. 18 at Souderton, Pa. 
Miller, Amanda, 86, Millers- 
burg, Ohio, died Feb. 15. Parents: 
Emanuel and Dena Weaver 
Miller. Funeral: Feb. 18 at Millers- 
burg (Ohio) Mennonite Church. 
Moore, Mildred, 83, Midland, 
Mich., died Feb. 17. Spouse: Rus- 
sell Moore (deceased). Survivors: 
children Stanley, Carolyn Peter- 
son, Bonnie Eash, Sue Roberts; 
eight grandchildren; nine great- 
grandchildren. Funeral: Feb. 20 
at Midland. 

Moyer, Katie Melinda Nice, 

95, Sellersville, Pa., died Feb. 11 
of cardiopulmonary failure and 
atrial fibrillation. Spouse: Charles 
Moyer (deceased). Parents: 

Henry and Melinda Keller Nice 
(deceased). Survivors: children 
Dorothy Fretz, Kathryn Hane, 
Kenneth; 10 grandchildren; 21 
great-grandchildren. Funeral: 

Feb. 15 at Blooming Glen (Pa.) 
Mennonite Church. 


Nofziger, Kenneth, 76, 

Wauseon, Ohio, died Feb. 19 of 
cancer. Spouse: Lois Nofziger. 
Parents: Harvey and Mattie 
Nofziger (deceased). Other sur- 
vivors: children Keith, Pat, 

Luanne Aschliman, Steve, Sam; 
six grandchildren. Funeral: Feb. 
22, Zion Mennonite Church, 
Archbold, Ohio. 

Todd, Pauline Strickler, 84, 

East Petersburg, Pa., died Feb. 11. 
Spouse: Lincoln Todd (deceased). 
Parents: Abram and Emma Whit- 
myer Strickler (deceased). Sur- 
vivors: children Ralph, Evelyn 
Landis, Jay; 10 grandchildren; 13 
great-grandchildren. Funeral: 

Feb. 15 at East Petersburg (Pa.) 
Mennonite Church. 

Unruh, Minnie Ratzliff, 96, 
Enid, Okla., died Feb. 11. Spouse: 
Tobe Unruh (deceased). Parents: 
Tobe and Elizabeth Ratzliff Unruh 
(deceased). Survivors: children 
Phyllis Dixon, Viola Friesen, Lily 
Dunn, Elmer, Bob, Leslie, Claude, 
Gerald, Bill; 27 grandchildren; 
numerous great-grandchildren 
and great-great-grandchildren. 
Funeral: Feb. 15 at Grace Menno- 
nite Church, Enid. 

Yoder, Jesse, 79, Belleville, 
Pa., died Feb. 19. Spouse: Lydia 
Zook Yoder. Parents: Samuel and 
Leah Yoder Yoder (deceased). 
Other survivors: children Delores 
Knepp, Anna Marinos, Joyce, 

Judy Heide; 11 grandchildren; 
nine great-grandchildren. Funer- 
al: Feb. 23 at Allensville (Pa.) 
Mennonite Church. 


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theMennonite March 16, 1999 


13 



classifieds 


Classified advertising 
space in The Menno- 
nite is available to 
congregations, con- 
ferences, businesses, 
and churchwide 
boards and agencies. 
Cost for one-time 
placement is $1.10 
per word, minimum 
of $30. To place a 
classified ad in The 
Mennonite, call 800- 
790-2498 and ask for 
Melanie Mueller. 


• Amigo Centre, Sturgis, Mich., seeks summer program director 

Experience in Christian camping, teaching or youth ministry desirable. Con- 
tact brian@amigocentre.org or call 616-651-2811. 

• Holly Grove Mennonite Church, dynamic rural congregation on 
Maryland's Eastern Shore, seeks youth pastor. Send inquiries, resumes to 
Youth Pastor Search Committee, 7333 Mennonite Church Rd., Westover, MD 
21871. 

• Eastern Mennonite University: admissions counselor. 1 1- 

months, full-time, bachelor's degree. Good writing/public speaking skills; 
can relate well to youth. Application deadline: April 9, 1999. Contact Human 
Resources, EMU, Harrisonburg, VA 22802: 540-432-4108; ebybj@emu.edu 

• Assembly Mennonite Church, Goshen, Ind., is planning a 25th 
anniversary celebration, Saturday-Sunday, April 17-18. Former members 
and friends eagerly welcomed. Phone 219-534-4190; email 
assemblymenn@juno.com 

• Seattle Mennonite Church: full-time youth pastor. Active urban 
church seeks energetic, creative individual to expand youth program at Seat- 
tle Mennonite Church. Commitment to Anabaptist teachings, great commu- 
nication skills and B.A. in youth ministry or equivalent experience required. 
Contact Eileen Crawford, 206-523-2161 or email camila@gte.net 

• Eastern Mennonite Seminary is seeking candidates for a faculty 
position in church history. Employment will begin August 2000. A doctor- 
ate in the field is required. Competence in 16th-century Reformation and 
Mennonite history is essential. Preparation and experience in another field 
or fields of theological education, e.g., historical theology, highly desired. 
Significant ministry experience expected. Women and minorities are encour- 
aged to apply. 

Send letter of application and resume by April 15, 1999, to George 
Brunk III, vice president and academic dean. Eastern Mennonite Seminary, 
1200 Park Road, Harrisonburg, VA 22802. 


• Allegheny Mennonite Conference is seeking a full-time youth 
minister to begin Aug. 15, 1999. Areas of ministry include youth, junior 
high and children's activities. Mennonite Church salary guidelines will be 
used. Request more information or send resume to Allegheny Mennonite 
Conference, P.0. Box 12, Somerset, PA 15501; 814-443-2007; email 
ALLEGHENYCONFERENCE@compuserve.com by April 5, 1999. 

• Mennonite Central Committee is actively recruiting for the Dam- 
ascus Road organizer/MCC East Coast staff associate for peace educa- 
tion for MCC U.S. and MCC East Coast. Qualifications include a personal pas- 
sion and sense of calling to the task of dismantling racism within and strong 
commitment to Mennonite and Brethren in Christ institutions; willingness to 
rely on the leading of the Holy Spirit for the entirety of this work; willingness 
to participate in the Damascus Road anti-racism process and agreement 
with the nine core principles undergirding the Damascus Road network; 
experience in group organizing (community-based, church-based, labor- 
based or in other areas); strong organizing skills, specifically, the ability to 
work well with a racially diverse range of people in the Anabaptist commu- 
nity, both leadership and laity; envision, implement and articulate organiz- 
ing strategy; adapt and revise plans midstream; motivate people to achieve 
new anti-racism goals and objectives; educate groups to the need for orga- 
nizing strategy; agitate the powerful when necessary; help people gain a 
sense of their own power; good communication skills (verbal and written); 
training or experience in peace and justice concerns; ability to use or learn to 
use appropriate technology for organizing tasks (email, word processing, 
phone conferencing, etc.); familiarity with urban culture and life an asset. 
This is a full-time, two-year salaried position. All MCC workers are expected 
to exhibit a commitment to a personal Christian faith and discipleship, active 
church membership and nonviolent peacemaking. 

For more information, or to receive a copy of the job description, please 
contact Prem Dick or Goldie Kuhns at 717-859-1151; Mennonite Central 
Committee Human Resources Dept., or email psd@mcc.org or gpk@mcc.org. 
The last day to receive applications is April 30, 1999; starting date is June 1, 
1999. Candidates from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds and/or bilin- 
gual (Spanish-English) candidates are encouraged to apply. 


Conversations on Christian Discinleship 



Herald 

Press 


On foot, J. Nelson Kraybill enters Canterbury just in time for a 
Pentecost service at that city’s great cathedral. He has spent ten days 
On the Pilgrims’ Way , praying and conversing with fellow pilgrims for 
140 miles. 

Each morning Kraybill meets walking partners at a train station 
along the Pilgrims’ Way. After reading a psalm and praying at a local 
church, they hike eastward, talking about topics of Christian disciple- 
ship from the Gospel of Luke: conversion, prayer, celebration, commu- 
nity, money, doubt, risk-taking, peacemaking, and much more. 

More than a travelogue, this is a provocative handbook on issues 
every disciple of Jesus needs to consider. Each chapter ends with a 
prayer and questions for reflection. 

“Nelson Kraybill has a way with words, matching the elegant simplici- 
ty of the Pilgrims’ Way. I relished every word and often thought of bib- 
lical journeys, of John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress, of Chaucer’s 
Canterbury Tales, of the film Babette’s Feast, and of Martyrs Mirror. 
This book goes on my shelf with those classic tales of longing for 
God.” 

— Shirley Hershey Showalter, President, Goshen College, Goshen, 
Indiana 

Paper, 240 pages, $15.99; in Canada $23.79 

Orders: 1 800 759-4447 www.mph.org 


14 


theMennonite March 16, 1999 



• Menno-Hof seeks visitor center manager I his full-time position 
carries the responsibilities of day-to-day operations of this popular tourist 
educational center. Commitment to ministry and good people skills are cen- 
tral. Please write or call for job description. Menno-Hof, P.0. Box 701 , Ship- 
shewana, IN 46565; 219-768-4117. 

• Eastern Mennonite Missions seeks Discipleship Center director, 

Atlantic Coast Conference discipleship center in Baltimore. Position begins 
August 1999. Qualifications include experience in young adult discipleship 
and administration. Bachelor's degree and Youth Evangelism Service (YES) or 
other short-term mission experience preferred. 

Send resume to Keith Blank, EMM, P.0. Box 628, Salunga, PA 17538. 
Application deadline March 31, 1999. 

• First Mennonite Church, Bluffton, Ohio, has an immediate full-time 
opening for an associate pastor for youth and Christian education; 75 

percent middle school and high school youth work, 25 percent Christian edu- 
cation administration and program coordination. Multiple staff setting. 

M.Div. required. 

Contact Lois Wetherill at FMC@bluffton.edu or 101 S. Jackson St„ 
Bluffton, OH 45817; 419-358-5766. 

• Elizabethtown Mennonite Church, Elizabethtown, Pa., seeks a 
full-time pastor and a full-time associate pastor to shepherd a congrega- 
tion of approximately 225 members. We are a member of the Lancaster Con- 
ference of Mennonite Churches and have an active interest in mission. The 
congregation's membership is diversified in its interests and occupations. 
Candidates should have a college degree and the senior pastor also have 
seminary training. 

Please respond by letter and resume to David Leaman, 53 Woodbine 
Drive, Hershey, PA 17033. 

• Eastern Mennonite seeks the following: 

Director and teacher for its growing intensive English program. The 
director provides leadership, management and some instruction. Qualifica- 
tions include a Ph.D. (master's considered) in TESOL or applied linguistics and 
administration abilities. The full-time teaching position requires a master's 
degree in TESOL or applied linguistics required in addition to teaching expe- 
rience. 

Field hockey coach to provide program leadership for NCAA Division 
III nationally ranked intercollegiate varsity sport. 

Appointments fall 1999. EMU seeks faculty with evidence or promise of 
teaching excellence in a Christian, liberal arts environment, committed to 
ongoing scholarship, who are familiar with and supportive of Anabaptist- 
Mennonite Christian faith practices. Candidates send letter of application, 
vitae, transcripts and three references to William Hawk, VP and academic 
dean, Eastern Mennonite University, Harrisonburg, VA 22802; email 
dean@emu.edu. Review will begin immediately. AAEO employer 

• Goshen College seeks an individual to teach studio classes in paint- 
ing, printmaking and drawing with ability and interest in teaching art 
history survey, 20th-century art history and/or general education art appre- 
ciation. Strengths in art education or graphic design are also desirable. This 
is a full-time, tenure track position beginning Aug. 15, 1999. Applicant must 
have an MFA (or a doctorate in art history or art education), be an exhibiting 
artist in 2D media, have three years of successful teaching experience, have 
administrative skills and enjoy teaching undergraduate students in a liberal 
arts setting. Ability to teach across media and/or art discipline areas is 
important. Interviewing of candidates will begin March 26, 1999, and con- 
tinue until the position is filled. 

Please send letter of application, curriculum vitae, three letters of refer- 
ence, 20 slides of your own work and some images of student work, if avail- 
able, to Paul Keim, vice president for academic affairs and academic dean, 
Goshen College, 1700 S. Main St., Goshen, IN 46526; 219-535-7503; fax 219- 
535-7060; email dean@goshen.edu. Visual materials may be submitted in 
slide form or via the web. We encourage applications through our web site at 
www.goshen.edu under "job postings." Goshen College, an affirmative- 
action employer, is committed to Christian beliefs and values as interpreted 
by the Mennonite Church. Goshen College strongly encourages applications 
from members of under-represented groups and women. 

• Goshen College announces an opening for a teaching position in in- 
dustrial/organizational psychology. This full-time faculty position with 
a view to tenure includes approximately half-time teaching in the psycholo- 
gy department and half-time in the business department. Candidates must 
have completed the Ph.D. degree (or be ABD) and be comfortable teaching 



here's a generation 
of leaders coming through AMBS 
who have a hunger for God, who 
find joy in prayer, Bible study and 
discipleship. That's the kind of 
leadership I want to see in Mennonite 
conferences and congregations." 



/. Nelson Kraybill 
AMBS president 



Associated 

Mennonite 

Biblical 

Seminary 


3003 Benham Avenue 
Elkhart, IN 46517 
219 295-3726 
1 + 800 964-AMBS 
admissions@ambs.edu 


in both the traditional and degree-completion programs. Interviewing of 
candidates will begin March 15 and continue until the position is filled. 

Please send resume and three letters of reference to Paul Keim, vice 
president for academic affairs and academic dean, Goshen College, Goshen, 
IN 46526; 219-535-7503; fax 219-535-7060; email dean@goshen.edu. We 
encourage applications through our web site at www.goshen.edu under "job 
postings." Goshen College, an affirmative-action employer, is committed to 
Christian beliefs and values as interpreted by the Mennonite Church. Goshen 
College strongly encourages applications from members of under-represent- 
ed groups and women. 


Moving? Please allow 
six weeks for change 
of address. Call 800- 
790-2498. Email 
theMennonite@mph. 
org. 


theMennonite March 16, 1999 


15 


11 editorial editorial editorial 


CAR-RT SORT 1 



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LIBRARY 

ASSOC MENN BIBLICAL SEM 

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ELKHART IN 46517-1999 

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Dear God, might you send us a James? 


J. Lome Peachey 


More and more people these days are drawing 
parallels between what is facing the merging 
Mennonite Church and what brought together 
early Christians at the Jerusalem Conference 
as recorded in Acts 15. At least I’ve received 
more letters and articles in the past months 
suggesting this parallel than I recall getting on 
most any other topic as a Mennonite editor. 

In the first century, the issue was circumci- 
sion and whether churches could accept as 
members men who did not undergo this 
ancient Jewish rite. Today the issue is congre- 
gations that accept noncelibate homosexuals 
as members. They have been dismissed by 
one area conference but retain membership in 
another. Can these congregations be members 
of the new Mennonite Church? 

The first century saw leaders from across 
the church gather to make a decision. Today 
we have just had a major consultation of 
church leaders in Kansas City to see if there is 
any common ground among us on the con- 
tentious issue of membership and homosexual- 
ity. The Kansas City findings will go to a mem- . 
bership committee, who will make recommen- 

We have come so far down the road of all having a say in 
everything in the church that to even think one person could 
articulate a decision for the rest of us seems almost laughable. 

dations to a meeting of the joint general 
boards in April. From there the issue goes to 
the delegates of St. Louis 99. 

Whether or not we agree to parallels 
between the first-century church and 20th-cen- 
tury merging Mennonites, we might do well to 
take another look at the story of the Jerusalem 
Conference. The discussion by church leaders 
from all over Asia Minor was long and heated. 
There were sermons and testimonies. Appar- 
ently little progress was being made until an 
elder, James, rose to speak. He summarized 
the discussion, put it in context of Scripture 
and then said, “I have decided that ... .” 

The Bible doesn’t tell us how long it took 
the rest to get on board. But what James artic- 
ulated as a good decision resonated with what 
was in the hearts of the others at the confer- 


ence. What he said about circumcision and 
other practices was put almost verbatim into a 
pastoral letter the Jerusalem Conference 
agreed to send to all churches (Acts 15:23-29) . 

Would we dare pray today for a James to 
surface to help us solve our disagreements? 
The ways we have traditionally used to make 
decisions don’t seem to be working. We aren’t 
anywhere near consensus as groups on both 
sides say they won’t be part of the new Men- 
nonite Church if the decision on membership 
doesn’t go the way they believe is biblical. 

We can put the matter to a vote. However, 
often in history the majority who wins turns 
out to be wrong while the minority who loses 
ends up right. Take, for example, our own 
Anabaptist movement that resulted in the 
Mennonite church because a minority refused 
to go along with the majority. 

Could we even hope that a James would 
arise among us? Would anyone dare take the 
risk to humbly, prayerfully, yet forcefully say: 

“I have decided that ... ”? 

Should someone try, would the rest of us 
even think about following? We have come so 
far down the road of egalitarianism, of all hav- 
ing a say in everything that affects our life in 
the church, that to even think one person 
could articulate a decision that would sit well 
with the rest of us seems almost laughable. 

Of course, there are many dangers and 
risks, both for the church and for anyone God 
calls to be a James. That was also true for 
those who gathered at Jerusalem. They were 
likely tempted to think the issues they had 
agreed on were settled for all time; that didn’t 
turn out to be true, as evidenced in repeated 
references to circumcision and other practice 
boundaries in the later writings of Paul. Nor 
did James become an authoritarian leader or a 
revered icon, always a temptation when God 
calls someone to a special work. We read very 
little more of James after this one event. 

Many today fear the Mennonite church has 
reached an impasse in its move toward a merg- 
er that can include both unity and faithfulness. 
Traditional ways of making decisions don’t 
seem to be serving us well. Might we take one 
more lesson from the Bible and dare to consid- 
er a James? It’s worth a prayer.—///) 


16 


theMennonite March 16, 1999 


0 



theMennonite 


AMBS 

library 

ELKHART, IN 


March 23, 1999 





ders say readers say readers say 


This publication welcomes 
your letters, either about our 
content or about issues fac- 
ing the Mennonite church. 
Please keep your letters 
brief — two or three para- 
graphs — and about one 
subject only. We reserve the 
right to edit for length and 
clarity. Publication is also 
subject to space limitations. 
Send your letters to Readers 
Say, The Mennonite, P.0. Box 
347, Newton, KS 67114. 

Or you can email us at: 
theMennonite@gcmc.org. 
Please include your name 
and address. We will not 
print letters sent anony- 
mously, though we may 
withhold names at our dis- 
cretion . — Editors 


2 


Exploring membership 

I’m dismayed by the articles by R. Brent Alder- 
fer and Vern Rempel (“What Defines Us As 
Mennonites,” Feb. 23 and March 2). They rep- 
resent some fuzzy thinking characterized by 
the glib use of emotionally charged words such 
as peace, joy, community, mystery, relationships 
and wholeness. Apart from their biblical and 
theological essence, such expressions denote 
trite, feel-good attitudes. It’s a sad day when 
such subjective emotion trumps thoroughgoing, 
biblically based, theologically sound discussion. 

The thinking is that the old days of bishops 
and rules were bad, so we have to get rid of 
everything associated with that era. It’s hip to 
decry plain clothing, strict Sunday observance 
and other quaint practices, and it’s decidedly 
uncool to quote Scripture and talk about Jesus. 
Rules? Forget it. 

I am not one who routinely cries out the 
church is on a slippery slope if (insert your 
most feared event here) . But if the model pro- 
posed by Alderfer and Rempel is followed, I 
believe we will soon find ourselves a church 
full of radically self-centered individuals, a 
church that bears no resemblance to the group 
Jesus called to him or to those Anabaptist 
brothers and sisters who understood radical 
obedience to the Christ of the Gospels as the 
mark of the Christian, paying for such a view 
of the church with their lives. — Michael 
Yeakey, La Junta, Colo. 

I wasn’t surprised by Alderfer and Rempel’s 
assertions that we should not submit to Scrip- 
ture — they have to make this assertion to vali- 
date their own interpretations (March 2) . What 
did surprise me was their statement that Jesus 
was crucified for his interpretation of Scripture. 
At first I disagreed, but then I realized they 
were right. And I became convinced that rather 
than supporting their assertion, this statement 
actually refutes it. 

Jesus submitted completely to the teaching 
of Scripture, even when he didn’t like what it 
had to say. The Jews found many ways to inter- 
pret the prophecies concerning the necessary 
death of their Messiah, interpretations which 
led them to believe he would deliver to them a 
material kingdom. How tempting it must have 
been for Jesus to accept these interpretations. 
No, Jesus didn’t like the non-negotiable, 
unavoidable mandate that he was to die, as 
mandated by Scripture. And yet he submitted, 
believing in and knowing the authority of 
God’s Word. 

theMennonite March 23, 1999 


Do we have the humility to submit, like our 
Lord, to the truths we find in Scripture that we 
find disagreeable? Or will we continue to try 
and conform Scripture to our own interpreta- 
tions and thus, by denying its truth, rob it of 
its authority? I pray, for the sake of our church, 
for the sake of our world, that we will do the 
former. — Jacob Stoltzfus, Stuttgart, Germany 

Brent Koehn has done some heavy thinking 
(“Inclusiveness and Challenge,” March 2), but 
I feel he started with a faulty assumption. He 
sees the wider church as a hierarchy and not 
as a fellowship. In a hierarchy, those above can 
make judgments about those beneath. In a fel- 
lowship, we stand on equal ground. From that 
stance we can challenge and disagree, but we 
are not given the power to cast out another 
congregation from the fellowship. 

Looking back on the history of the General 
Conference Mennonite Church, we have 
joined together as quite diverse congregations. 
We have never thought alike or acted alike, 
but we are united in mission. We know that we 
have congregations that have not supported all 
parts of the mission equally because of our 
diversity. While we have passed statements on 
a variety of issues, we have never done so with 
unanimity. We may have wished at times that 
we could cut off those who did not fully agree 
with us, but we have not given each other that 
kind of authority and power. Thank God for his 
mercy. 

Ryan Ahlgrim (Speaking Out, March 2) pre- 
sents us with the foundation we can use to 
move forward. Let us remain congregational in 
polity. If we can have patience and love for the 
“weaker brother or sister,” maybe they can 
have patience and love for my congregation 
when others do not agree. In the General Con- 
ference Mennonite Church, there is no power 
or procedure given to expel a congregation. 
And the same is true for many of the area con- 
ferences within the Mennonite Church. Let us 
not move in that direction now. — David L. 
Habegger, Fort Wayne, Ind. 

Editor’s note: While the General Conference Men- 
nonite Church constitution and bylaws empha- 
size a congregational polity, they also provide for 
the dismissal of congregations that neglect to 
send representatives to three consecutive delegate 
sessions or for dismissal on “other grounds” as 
deemed by the General Board. A two-thirds vote 
by delegates is required for dismissal. The Gener- 
al Conference Mennonite Church, however, has 
never expelled a congregation. 


theMennonite 

Vol. 2, No. 12, March 23, 1999 



features 

He is not here but has risen 

5 Into the resurrection 6 Cross purposes 

8 The power of God in suffering and death 9 Easter diamonds 

1 0 What the woman at Bethany knew 

Proclaiming the reality of those who suffer to an indifferent world 

departments 

12 News 

Consultation suggestions • landlord ministry • MK challenges 

18 Newsbriefs 
20 For the record 

23 Mediaculture 

24 Editorials 

Easter is to be surprised by joy . . . even in the work we are called to do 


Editor: J. Lome Peachey 
Associate editors 
Feature: Gordon Houser 
News: Rich Preheim 
Marketing: Marla J. Cole 
Advertising: Melanie Mueller 
Secretary: Dotty Anderson 
Design consultant: 

Judith Rempel Smucker 


Offices: 

61 6 Walnut Ave. 
Scottdale, PA 15683 
theMennonite@mph.org 

722 Main St., P.O.Box 347 
Newton, KS 67114 
theMennonite@gcmc.org 

Phone 1-800-790-2498 


theMennonite 

Incorporating Gospel Herald (1908-1998) and TheMennonite (1885-1998) 

TheMennonite seeks to serve the U.S. context of the integrating General Conference Mennonite Church and Mennonite 
Church by helping readers glorify God, grow in faith and become agents of healing and hope in the world. The Mennonite 
(ISSN 1522-7766) is published weekly on Tuesdays — except for March 30, June 29, Aug. 3 and Nov. 30 in 1999 — by the 
GC-MC Interim Periodical Board. Periodical postage paid at Scottdale, PA 15683-1999. Canada Post international publica- 
tions mail sales agreement no. 128562, GST no. R122192453. Subscription rates: $34.95 (U.S.) per year. Group rates.avail- 
able. The views expressed in this publication do not necessarily represent the official positions of The Mennonite, the Interim 
Periodical Board, the General Conference Mennonite Church or the Mennonite Church. 


Web site: http://www.mph.org/themennonite 


Postmaster: Send form 3579 to 616 Walnut Ave., Scottdale, PA 15683-1999. 


readers say 

In the discussion of membership, I would like 
to suggest that the truths recorded in Gala- 
tians 6 be kept in mind. Excommunicating peo- 
ple cuts off relations for possible renewal or 
revival of relations. 

During World War II, the conference to which 
I related directed that all members in the mili- 
tary be excommunicated. In the church I was 
serving, 26 members were drafted: 12 entered 
Civilian Public Service (CPS) and 14 the mili- 
tary. Our church refused to excommunicate 
any members. We tried to keep an open rela- 
tionship with all men. After the war, our church 
made a welcome-home dinner and invited all 
the men to share their experiences. Those in 
CPS shared, as did nearly all those in the mili- 
tary. Some of the men in the military regretted 
the choice they had made and expressed a 
desire to be forgiven. In several weeks, the 
other military men also expressed regrets and 


sought full relations with the church. Only Cover illustration by 

three men failed to renew their relations. Susan Lehman, 

Excommunication may be necessary some- photo by Darvin Luginbuhl 
times. But the Spirit can work most effectively 
with a long-suffering and forgiving congrega- 
tion. We do not win by excommunication but 
with patience.—/./. Hostetler, Goshen, Ind. 

What it means 

Thank you for the deeply moving story of 
Chuck and Bonnie Neufeld (“A Search for 
Home,” Feb. 16). I also wish to express my 
thanks for the moratorium on letters regarding 
homosexuality. I echo the wise counsel of Paul 
M. Zehr in his Feb. 23 letter: “The church will 
be served well by feeding it material that nur- 
tures it in the Christian and Mennonite faith.” I 
pray that we can together humbly follow God 
as he speaks to us through the Scriptures, the 
Spirit and the gathered community as we dis- 
cern what it means to be follow Christ in our 
everyday lives . — Doug Zook, Edmonton 


theMennonite March 23, 1999 


3 



eaders say readers say 


No issue March 30: 

The next regularly sched- 
uled issue of TheMennonite 
will be dated April 6, 1999. 


Reading and responding 

I find it disappointing that there are those who 
are so embarrassed with The Mennonite that 
they would hide it. I applaud the editors for 
having the courage to tackle the controversial 
issues of our time. I would be happy to have 
anyone read The Mennonite. 

To many non-Mennonites, “Mennonite” is 
still synonymous with no electricity, black hats 
and beards. Surely Jesus placed himself in the 
middle of the difficult issues of his time as we 
read of this again and again in the Bible. Shouldn’t 
we do the same with God’s grace and Spirit 
among us? Can we disagree and continue to 
communicate? Sadly, too often the communica- 
tion has stopped and splits have occurred, 
something to be truly embarrassed about. 

I encourage communication to continue as it 
has in The Mennonite in the form of articles, 
letters and editorials. I hope face-to-face dis- 
cussions occur in our churches and at confer- 
ence events. Hiding our heads in the sand is not 
an option. — Douglas R. Yoder, State College, Pa. 

As a pastor, I feel it is important to keep 
informed of the events transpiring within the 
Mennonite church. However, since I am bivo- 
cational as a podiatric physician, time is quite 
limited. Therefore, I must carefully choose 
what professional and inspirational materials I 
have time to read. In recent months, The Men- 
nonite seemingly has been void of inspirational 
articles while consumed with homosexuality, 
integration and membership. What once was 
pleasure reading is now drudgery, being done 
out of duty. The Mennonite is rapidly going 
from something I enjoyed reading to a publica- 
tion read if time permits and may soon go 
straight from the mailbox to the garbage. 

— William D. Beck, Hebron, Ind. 

Scriptural authority, scriptural values 

As I continue to read Readers Say, I become 
increasingly disturbed about the spiritual 
health of the Mennonite church. If the issue of 
the inspiration and authority of Scripture is 
still in question, especially among our college 
and seminary professors and church leaders, 
then God have mercy on us. If the word of 
God as recorded in Scripture is God’s revealed 
word, work and will, then we best embrace it 
as such. If it’s not, then there is no clearly 
spelled-out objective truth. We’re left to every- 
one’s opinion as to what experience and prefer- 
ence dictates. In other words, if Scripture is 
viewed as merely containing truth but not as 


God’s authoritative divine revelation to us, then 
we, rather than Scripture, become the ultimate 
authority. We judge the Scripture rather than it 
judging us. — J. Neil Haney, Springfield, Ohio 

We have gone from being a church of strong 
beliefs and values to a church in search of 
membership at almost any cost. Satan’s ulti- 
mate plan is to destroy the church from within. 
We have seen the problems that are associated 
with a faith that is not grounded in the Lord. 
There is a breakdown in the family because 
men don’t want to assume their role in the 
home and family. There is dissension among 
church members because men will not fulfill 
the role that God has given them. Let’s not 
spend our time trying to figure out what is 
right and wrong when all the answers are right 
in front of us in the Bible. — Craig and Dawn 
Weaver, Souderton, Pa. 

The humanitarian call of the Iraqi crisis 

I share Don Schrader’s revulsion (Readers Say, 
March 2) with the disastrous humanitarian 
impact sanctions and war are having on the 
Iraqi people. Best estimates are that more than 
5,000 people die prematurely each month. This 
includes old people too weak to survive the flu, 
malnourished children who cannot recover from 
pneumonia, babies who do not survive child- 
birth due to birth defects or other congenital 
weaknesses, and people who starve. But I think 
it’s not helpful to use words like “mass murder” 
assigned to one person from one country. We 
Americans have a tendency to do this. Many 
like to assign all the blame to Saddam Hussein, 
which is equally troubling and inaccurate. 

However, for people who feel the international 
Iraqi sanctions policy is immoral, there is 
something to do. Between now and April 15, a 
major United Nations review of relations to 
Iraq is under way. Both Americans and Canadi- 
ans can encourage their government officials 
to focus first of all on the humanitarian crisis 
and give this reality first consideration as alter- 
natives or changes to the current sanctions 
policy are being considered. It’s very likely that 
decisions put in place in mid-April will stick for 
a while. And if these decisions do not include 
some major change in the way the world 
relates to Iraq, there will only be more suffer- 
ing. Mennonite Central Committee has focused 
on the Iraq crisis for the last several years via 
relief shipments and visiting delegations and 
can be contacted for information. — Bob Herr, 
MCC Peace Office co-director, Akron, Pa. 


4 


theMennonite March 23, 1999 


Into the 


resurre 

A s nearly as we can tell, the two Marys 
didn’t get all polished up to go to Jesus’ 
grave. Their visit had the pace of duty, 
not of high anticipation. They hadn’t 
gotten themselves all primed and ready to 
receive the resurrection (Matthew 28:1-10). 

They simply went, wrapped in their loss and 
disappointment. They did what they knew to 
do and what they could. 

Never mind that Jesus had been telling 
them he’d be back. The prospect was outra- 
geous. His death had been so laboriously final, 
such a public event. He had died on a bill- 
board, so to speak, or on the equivalent of live 
TV, so wouldn’t the promised resurrection be 
as grand a spectacle? In any case, had the 
women remembered or expected such a devel- 
opment, wouldn’t they have gathered up a 


“Maries at the Sepulchre” courtesy of the Trustees, National Gallery, London 



group to go along to the grave? by Phyllis Pellman Good 

And so the audience was small, despairing 
and curious rather than big, confident and 
believing. But it was enough for the story to 
continue. At full throttle. 

Two women in the shadowy light of dawn 
carry their breaking hearts into a deathly still 
garden, only to be blasted with an earthquake 
and an “angel-approach” approximating light- 
ning. Mary and Mary, who’ve been through a 
lot of trouble, managed to stay standing, 
although the guards went down. 

The angel messenger spoke to them imme- 
diately — reassuring them, not reprimanding 
them for their fear or too-little faith. They 
weren’t deprived of the announcement 
because they had come improperly prepared. 

Instead they got the full news — and a 
demonstration to prove it. In an insistent mix 
of the physical and spiritual (not unlike Jesus’ 
way of doing things) , the women experienced 
holy white lightning next to core-of-the-earth 
darkness. They were invited to look at the 
hard and empty hole, then to tell others that 
Jesus is alive. 

And so the women took off, not knowing 
that they would run into Jesus on the way. He 
was ahead of them, of course. And after an 
exuberant reunion, he sent them on so that 
they — not he — would tell his disciples what 
had happened. 

Knowing little and probably trusting less, 
the two Marys had set out that morning to 
accept the blunt edge of loss, physically to 

The two Marys had set out that morning to accept the 
blunt edge of loss, to physically remind themselves 
that this man and his amazing life were over. They discov- 
ered God — in one form or another — awaiting them. 

remind themselves that this man and his amaz- 
ing life were over. 

They discovered God — in one form or 
another — awaiting them. Urging them not to 
be afraid. Urging them one step at a time into 
the resurrection. 

Phyllis Pellman Good, Lancaster, Pa., is commu- 
nication consultant for Mennonite World Confer- 
ence and its regional editor for North America. 

Previously she was a member of the MWC Exec- 
utive Committee and, before that, of the General 
Council. 


theMennonite March 23, 1999 


5 


Crosspurpose 

A meditation on the cross (1 Corinthians 1:18-25) 


by David A. Stevens 111 hen you look at a cross, whether a 
■ / » \ ■ satin-finished work of art or rough- 
■1 ■■ sawn boards and twine, what do you 
W ■ see? I don’t just mean two pieces of 
wood joined at a right angle. What do you real- 
ly see? I suspect the cross has a benign effect 
on us, reminding us of Jesus. It is for us a sym- 
bol of worship. But the cross did not always 
have that meaning and that effect. In fact, 
there are trememdous differences between the 
meaning of the cross for us today and for peo- 
ple at the time of Jesus’ crucifixion. 

If we were to take down the cross from our 
steeple or sanctuary and put in its place some- 
thing that created for us the same feelings the 
cross evoked for the people of Jesus’ day, we 
might consider a gallows with a hanging 
noose. Or we might suspend an electric chair 
above our pulpits or hang in our sanctuaries a 
banner that depicts a lethal syringe. The cross 
was anti-worship. It was the instrument of capi- 
tal punishment. 

Scholar Martin Hengel in his book Crucifix- 
ion (Fortress, 1977) gives us a sketch of cruci- 
fixion in Jesus’ day. He writes: “Crucifixion as 
a penalty was remarkably widespread in antiq- 

The cross was the instrument of capital punishment, the 
symbol of the power of the state. The cross represented 
the last futile effort of the world to save itself from the 
clutches of sin. 


uity. It appears in various forms among numer- 
ous peoples of the ancient world. ... [Crucifix- 
ion] was and remained a political and military 
punishment. ... [A]mong the Romans it was 
inflicted above all on the lower classes, i.e., 
slaves, violent criminals and the unruly ele- 
ments in rebellious provinces, not least in 
Judea. The chief reason for its use was its 
allegedly supreme [effectiveness] as a deter- 
rent; it was, of course, carried out publicly. . . . 

It was usually associated with other forms of 
torture, including at least flogging. ... By the 
public display of a naked victim at a prominent 
place — at a crossroads, in the theater, on high 
ground, at the place of his crime — crucifixion 
also represented his uttermost humiliation. . . . 


Crucifixion was aggravated further by the fact 
that quite often its victims were never buried. 
[Typically] . . . the victim served as food for 
wild beasts and birds of prey. In this way 
humiliation was made complete. What it meant 
for a [person] in antiquity to be refused burial, 
and the dishonor that went with it, can hardly 
be appreciated by modern [people].” 

Hengel’s study identifies four aspects of 
crucifixion: First, it was a physically cruel 
death. Victims usually died from loss of blood 
or asphyxiation and in great pain. Second, it 
was a public death, a public execution to be 
seen by any and all onlookers. Third, it was a 
shameful death. Not just shameful in terms of 
popular morality. It was theologically shameful. 
In Deuteronomy 21:23 we read, “Cursed [by 
God] is anyone who hangs on a tree.” The cru- 
cified were God-forsaken, and there was a 
Scripture text to support it. Fourth, crucifixion 
was a politically expedient death. The vigil of 
the crucified broke the spirit of conquered 
peoples, like the Jews, by graphically demon- 
strating that life and death were subject to the 
whims of Caesar. 

Can we see then that Jews, Gentiles, follow- 
ers of Jesus, everyone would have had great 
difficulty finding anything purposeful and posi- 
tive about the cross. For Christians who 
sought to share their faith, the crucifixion of 
Jesus could only have been an incredible 
embarassment. Even Paul admitted that the 
cross was an offense, a stumbling block, fool- 
ishness. It was repulsive to many would-be fol- 
lowers of Jesus because it appeared to com- 
pletely discredit him as a man of God and even 
as an upright human being. Perhaps that is dif- 
ficult for us to understand and appreciate. If 
you want to have others believe in your hero, 
you portray him as a Hercules, not as carrion 
for scavengers. 

Why didn’t the early Christians cover up the 
cross? Why didn’t they silence the fact of 
Jesus’ crucifixion? Perhaps it was just too well- 
known to cover up, so that they had no choice 
but to address the issue. But the New Testa- 
ment demonstrates that the church did not 
just grudgingly acknowledge the cross as 
some scandalous detour but in fact as central 
to the whole plan of God in Christ. 

The cross was the instrument of capital 
punishment, the symbol of the power of the 


theMennonite March 23, 1999 



state. The cross represented the last futile 
effort of the world to save itself from the 
clutches of sin. Yet the Christians did not in 
this instance try to separate church from state 
but took that symbol of the state and trans- 
formed it into a symbol of the church. 

Through the cross, the symbol of the state, 
we understand that God so loved not just the 
j church but the world, even its structures of 
death. 

The church has been guided by the Holy 
Spirit to understand that the method of Jesus’ 
death is as significant as the fact of his death. 
“He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was cruci- 
fied, died and was buried,” says the Nicene 
| Creed. 

We understand why Jesus himself said from 
I the cross, “Father, forgive them [that is, my 
| executioners, forgive the state] for they [the 
I state] know not what they do.” We understand 
I why the apostle said, “We preach Christ cruci- 
fied.” 

David A. Stevens is pastor at Blooming Glen 
(Pa.) Mennonite Church. 


Violence is a denial of Christ 

by Renton Amell 

And Peter remembered the word of the Lord: "Before the cock crows today you will deny 
me three times." And he went out and wept bitterly. — Luke 22:61 -62 

Few of us take time to attend church on a Friday night, so we may miss or overlook 
Good Friday's message. Without it, however, Easter loses much of its impact. 

As we approach Good Friday, we remember Jesus' violent execution and events sur- 
rounding it. At the Last Supper Jesus tried to prepare the disciples for the violence that 
was to come. He said they could not face it down, and he was right. Peter, so sure of 
himself and his dedication to his master, denied Jesus three times before dawn when 
confronted with the violence of that day. 

Many in the world prepare themselves for violence every day. People living in or 
near Canadian Aboriginal communities may witness violence on a daily basis. In six 
months in a nearby reserve community of some 900, three people died by murder, sui- 
cide or "misadventure." If that ratio held in my home community, we would have seen 
30 violent deaths in six months. The image is staggering. 

Unemployment among Aboriginal people in general is three times as high as the 
non-Aboriginal population, and on reserves it is up to 10 times as high. Female Aborig- 
inal youth in Canada are eight times more likely to commit suicide than non-Aboriginal 
female youth. The proportion of incarcerated Aboriginal youth in Manitoba is at least 
five times higher than their proportion in society as a whole. The chance that a 16- 
year-old Aboriginal boy will serve a prison sentence before age 25 is 70 percent. Vio- 
lence of one sort or another is much more prevalent in the Aboriginal community than 
in Canada as a whole. 

The kindest interpretation is that we Canadians simply do not see this violence. We 
are too caught up in our own lives. But the truth may be that we block it out — either 
because it is too painful to see or because it is too difficult to realize our own complici- 
ty. And the cock crows. 

Violence is all around us, not just in the Aboriginal community, not just in Canada. 
The government cuts or limits welfare, passes laws that tax immigrants. Corporations 
lay off workers despite record profits. New jobs are created, but they pay wages insuffi- 
cient to support a family. The problems seem immense. We throw up our hands and go 
about our business. And the cock crows. 

Individually we have our reasons for not acting. We don't want to give to the soup 
kitchen because it perpetuates dependence. We won't buy our food from fair trade 
outlets because it costs too much. We hold down two full-time jobs so our income will 
be sufficient for a new car or a family trip to Disney World. We don't take time to estab- 
lish relationships with Aboriginal people or the immigrant family at the end of the 
block or the single welfare mother whose son is in our daughter's first grade class. And 
the cock crows. 

Jesus says in Matthew 25 that when we refuse to give a drink of water, when we 
fail to visit someone in prison, when we do not minister to the sick, we are failing him. 
Each act of violence to an Aboriginal person is a denial of Christ. With each reduction in 
support for those on welfare we are saying, "I know him not." Each laid-off worker, 
each of the fully employed working poor is saying, with the maid who addressed Peter, 
"You also were with Jesus the Galilean." And we, with Peter, deny knowing Christ 
when we fail to respond to those who are forgotten, rejected, despised, dirty or 
unloved. 

Good Friday's message is of violence seen and violence ignored. We, like Peter, have 
too many opportunities to ignore the violence. 

And Peter wept. 

Renton Amell serves as a community development worker in Kenora, Ont. He is a member 
of Knox United Church in Kenora. 


theMennonite March 23, 1999 


7 


by Bishop Ndlovu 


Throughout 
Africa many peo- 
ple have experi- 
enced suffering 
and death. Yet 
the church of 
Jesus Christ has 
grown extensive- 
ly. There is a 
power that 
defeats suffering 
and death. 


Bishop Ndlovu is a 
retired bishop of the 
Brethren in Christ 
Church in Zimbabwe 
and a former member 
of the Mennonite 
World Conference 
Executive Committee. 

8 


The power of God 
in suffering and death 

A meditation on 1 Corinthians 15:21-22, 42-58 


S uffering and death came as a result of 
Adam’s disobedience of the law of God. 
“If you eat of the tree you will die” 
(Genesis 2:17). This meant separation 
from God forever. 

In Genesis 3 we read about humans’ disobe- 
dience and fall. Death came, and Adam and 
Eve were expelled from the garden. They 
were separated from God. This became 
humankind’s sad condition. Only God could 
do something to rescue them from this dismal 
situation. 

Suffering and death set in as Cain killed his 
brother Abel. The prophets were also killed 
(Matthew 23:34-37). But when the devil gets 
tough, Christians get together. They continue 
to speak of God. Throughout Africa many peo- 
ple have experienced suffering and death. Yet 
the church of Jesus Christ has grown exten- 
sively. There is a power that defeats suffering 
and death. 

1 . Jesus through his suffering and death gives us 
a new person with whom to identify: “Since death 
came through a human being, the resurrec- 
tion of the dead has also come through a 
human being” (1 Corinthians 15:21). 

In Adam all die (15:22); his descendants 
suffer death. In Christ shall all be made alive. 
Those who are related to him by faith will be 
made alive at the resurrection Qohn 5:25, 1 
Thessalonians 4:16-17, Revelation 20:6). 

The last enemy, death, shall be destroyed 
(1 Corinthians 15:26). The power of God in 
suffering and death is seen in 1 Corinthians 
15:3-8. Christ who died was buried but was 
raised on the third day, according to the Scrip- 
tures. He appeared to Peter, to the disciples, to 
more than 500 of the brothers and sisters at 
the same time. He appeared to James, to all 
the apostles and last of all to Paul as well. 

2. Jesus gives hope and courage for the future life 
in suffering (2 Corinthians 11:23-33): Paul boasted 
about his suffering because he had hope for a 
better life in Jesus, the power of God. 

Here are some of the things he suffered in 
comparison with his critics: 

• He worked much harder. 


• He was imprisoned more frequently. 

• He was flogged more severely. 

• He was exposed to death again and again. 

• He received 39 lashes from the Jews. 

• He was beaten with rods three times. 

• He was stoned once. 

• He was shipwrecked three times. 

• He spent a night and a day on the open sea. 

• He was constantly on the move; this 
placed him in danger from rivers, from ban- 
dits, from his own countrymen, from Gentiles, 
in danger in the city, in the country, at sea and 
from false brothers and sisters. 

• He labored and toiled and even went 
without sleep. 

• He hungered and thirsted. 

• He had been cold and naked. 

• He faced daily the pressure of his con- 
cern for churches. 

In Philippians 3:10-11 Paul writes: “I want to 
know Christ and the power of his resurrection 
and the sharing of his sufferings by becoming 
like him in his death, if somehow I may attain 
the resurrection from the dead.” 

3. Jesus gives undisputed victory over death (1 
Corinthians 15:42-58): Through the sin of Adam, 
death came as a penalty. That was God’s judg- 
ment for sin. Sin brought us under the power 
of death. We inherited death from the first 
human. 

Jesus came to destroy death. He was born 
and lived on this earth. He suffered crucifix- 
ion and died but was resurrected from the 
dead. Death no longer becomes judgment for 
those who are Christ’s people. They no longer 
live for the flesh that perishes. The power of 
God is in them through their faith in Jesus 
Christ. 

As flesh and blood cannot inherit the king- 
dom of God, we shall be changed by the 
power of God (1 Corinthians 15:52-53). 

We are encouraged to stand firm in our 
faith in Christ. We are encouraged to give our- 
selves to the work of the Lord, knowing that 
our labor is not in vain. We share in the resur- 
rection power, and our life is hidden in Christ 
(Colossians 3:1-4). 


theMennonite March 23, 1999 



A reunion over Easter weekend brings treasures of friendship and service. 


W hy in the world would anyone want 
to spend Easter Sunday afternoon 
on top of a scorched hill in New 
Mexico, digging in the rocky soil 
while trying to avoid the sharp spines of 
agave, yucca and cholla bushes and straining 
against the incessant wind with its gusts of 
swirling sand, giving everyone a bad hair day? 

Stranger still was the fact that we were all 
Mennonites in search of diamonds. But not 
just any diamonds. These were Pecos dia- 
monds, and this was not just another Menno- 
nite ritual but an experience that would con- 
tribute to the bond responsible for bringing 
this group together every three years. 

We are five couples from the United States 
and Canada who had our first experience 
together in 1964 at Narberth, Pa., when we 
were volunteers in the Mennonite Board of 
Missions voluntary service program. We were 
all assigned to the Pathway School for aphasic 
and brain-injured children, which had facilities 
in Narberth and Jeffersonville, Pa., and we 
filled a variety of positions, such as housepar- 
ent, child-care worker, nurse, teacher and 
maintenance worker. 

Living and working together for a year fos- 
tered a relationship that grows over the years, 
and our reunion is a time to reminisce on the 
Narberth days. It is also a time to share the 
joys and trials of life as we progress from 
being young parents to being grandparents. 

Each reunion adds its own set of experi- 
ences to the continuing saga, which binds us 
together and prompts us to ask, Where is the 
next reunion? and, When does it suit every- 
one? This is not easy, since Jane and Jerry 
Detwiler live in Goshen, Ind., Marvin and 
Helen Kenagy near Carlsbad, N.M., Aaron and 
Winifred Lehman in Slave Lake, Alta., Roy and 
Mollie Miller in Kalona, Iowa, and John and 
Joyce Wenger in Des Allemands, La. 

The 1998 reunion was planned for the Eas- 
ter weekend in New Mexico. On Good Friday, 
the couples made their way toward the 
Kanagy ranch in the Guadalupe Mountains of 
southern New Mexico. The desert landscape, 


winding roads and cattle guards were unfamil- 
iar to most of us, but the sight of the cowboy 
hat and the wave from Marvin in the Ford 
pickup reassured us we were in friendly 
territory. 

It was wonderful to share our problems and 
our dreams as we sat around the table after 
one of Helen’s tasty meals. Ranch life was 
great, even if it lasted only three days. On Sat- 
urday we toured the Living Desert State Park 
and Carlsbad Caverns. On Sunday we went to 
Carlsbad Mennonite Church, where pastor 
Amzie Yoder explained that Easter represent- 
ed a time when God made a breakthrough to 
humans like the friends walking to Emmaus. 

In the afternoon, we had a chance to relate to 
each other how God had broken through to 
us, and we marveled at how things worked to 
bring us all together at Narberth 34 years 
earlier. 

After some discussion about which gravel 
roads to take and admiring the beauty of the 
desert flowers, we noticed one stretch of cac- 
tus pasture that sparkled as we drove past. 
“This must be it,” Marvin said. Helen 
explained that Pecos diamonds were actually 
quartz rocks that had the familiar diamond 
shape and glistened in the sun like real dia- 
monds. 

With the wind and sand swirling around our 
heads, we bent low to the ground and picked 
at the sparkling rocks. Every now and then 
someone yelled that they had found the per- 
fect diamond; some were big, some small, 
some in clusters and some broken. 

An hour went by quickly, and it was time to 
say goodbye. Mollie kept searching long after 
her hands were full of beautiful gems. It was 
hard to leave the diamond mine but harder 
still to leave our dear friends. Next time, Mol- 
lie, we are coming to Iowa, and we will explore 
your diamond mines. 

Aaron and Winifred Lehman live in Slave 
Lake, Alta., where Aaron teaches in the high 
school, and Winifred is a nurse in the local 
hospital. 


From “He N Kj»en,“ a crayon draw 
itiK by Sunan I/ hrnan, photo by 
Harvin hi^mbubl 


by Aaron and 
Winifred Lehman 


Living and work- 
ing together for a 
year fostered a 
relationship that 
grows over the 
years, and our 
reunion is a time 
to reminisce. It is 
also a time to 
share the joys and 
trials of life as we 
progress from 
being young par- 
ents to being 
grandparents. 


theMennonite March 23, 1999 


9 


raitaiisformatlStonS 

a tM series 



What the woman at Bethany knew 


by Kathleen Kern or most of 1998, members of the Chris- 

tian Peacemaker Teams group in 
Hebron used Ched Myers’ Say to This 
Mountain (a book study on the Gospel 
of Mark) as part of our daily worship. One 
morning, as I read aloud the passage in Mark 
describing Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem the last 
week of his life (Mark 11:1-11), a chilling 
awareness struck me. Jesus knew. He knew 
when he entered Jerusalem that what he 
chose to do would lead to betrayal, humilia- 
tion, abandonment and death by slow torture. 

I finished reading the passage in tears as I 
thought about the conscious decisions our 
team in Hebron had made to enter the pain of 
dozens of Palestinian families facing the demo- 
lition of their homes and the confiscation of 
their land. Over the intervening months I have 
found myself coming back to this idea of the 
consciousness with which Jesus entered into 
his last days. And I have found myself return- 
ing to the account of the one other person who 
seemed to share this consciousness — the 
woman at Bethany (Mark 14:1-9). 

We know that Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem 

People who were crucified did not have the benefit of ritu- 
al burials, so the only thing this woman could think of to 
show her love and her support for Jesus' courageous deci- 
sion was to give him the honor of burial before he died. 

on a donkey stood in stark contrast to the mes- 
sianic expectations of his followers, but for the 
purposes of this discussion I want to start with 
Mark 11:11: “Then he entered Jerusalem and 
went into the temple; and when he had looked 
around at everything, as it was already late, he 
went out to Bethany with the twelve.” 

Kind of anti-climactic after all those hosan- 
nas. Why did Mark feel compelled to include 
it? What was the hour too late for? 

The answer may be found two verses down 


and one day later. He returns from Bethany 
(the contemporary Jerusalem suburb of 
Azaria — a leisurely hour’s walk to the Temple 
Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem). He 
enters the temple and drives out those who 
were buying and selling, overturning the seats 
of the moneychangers and those who sold 
doves for sacrifices. 

In other words, Jesus planned ahead. The 
action in the temple was not done in a fit of 
pique. Jesus chose to enter the temple at that 
particular time to make people pay attention to 
how the temple establishment exploited the 
needy; he knew that the logical consequence 
of this action could be death by slow torture. 
He knew that his disciples, once they under- 
stood this consequence, would desert him 
when he needed them most. 

Moving on to three days before the crucifix- 
ion, we come to the nameless woman at 
Bethany who visits Jesus at the house of 
Simon the Leper (notice the company Jesus is 
keeping) and breaks open an alabaster jar — 
not a clay jar, mind you — and pours nard, an 
expensive imported ointment, on his head. 

Unfortunately, Christians too often end the 
account with Jesus’ retort to his critics, “For 
you always have the poor with you,” using the 
story to justify buying something nice for 
themselves or their churches instead of giving 
the money to the needy. 

But the action of the woman at Bethany rep- 
resents something horrific, when you think 
about it. Jesus has told his disciples that he is 
about to die. The actions he has taken — espe- 
cially his action in the temple — are going to 
lead to his death at the hands of the establish- 
ment. And his disciples are in deep, deep 
denial about it. 

She was the only one of Jesus’ followers 
mentioned in Mark who accepted the reality of 
what was about to happen. She knew that cru- 
cifixion meant torture, public humiliation, pain 
beyond what most of us can imagine and ulti- 
mately a corpse consumed by carrion birds 




10 


theMennonite March 23, 1999 


“Veronica’s Veil" by Otto Due, Religious News Service 


and dogs. People who were crucified did not 
have the benefit of ritual burials, so the only 
thing she could think of to show her love and 
her support for Jesus’ courageous decision 
was to give him the honor of burial before he 
died. She was there for him in a way that his 
disciples were not. 

Jesus’ fears of desertion were realized. 

Mark 14:50 states tersely that “they all forsook 
him and fled.” There is no record in Mark that 
any of the disciples were present for the cruci- 
fixion. Mark notes only in 15:40-41: “There were 
also women looking on from afar, among whom 
were Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother 
of James the younger and of Joses, and Salome, 
who, when he was in Galilee followed him and 
ministered to him; and also many other women 
who came up with him to Jerusalem.” These 
women, like the woman at Bethany, were anony- 
mous, but they were there. They were willing 
to face reality — literally the most horrible reali- 
ty imaginable — when the disciples were not. 

And so I wept in the park across from 
Hebron’s il Ibrahimi Mosque when I read 
about Jesus’s last days. I wept for myself and 
for my dispirited teammates. I wept as I 
thought about all the families whom we had 
come to love who, despite our best efforts to 
call attention to what was happening to them, 
would lose everything they had so that Israeli 
settlements might expand. 

I wept because I realized that Jesus knew 
what it felt like. He knew what it was like to 
wonder what people in power would do to us 
because of our public witness. He knew how it 
would feel to fail in our efforts to save the 


homes of Palestinian families we had come to 
love. He knew better than anyone why the idea 
of entering into dozens more relationships 
with Palestinian families living under the same 
circumstances made me panic sometimes. 

Entering other people’s pain is something 
all people of faith do at times. Most have made 
conscious decisions to enter into relationships 
with people facing terminal illness, mental ill- 
ness, the breakup of their marriage and fami- 
lies and the loss of their jobs. When we do so, 
we should take time to reflect that Jesus un- 
derstood what it meant to make a decision to 
enter the suffering of others. He chose to inter- 
vene in the lives of people facing illness and 
contempt from their societies. And he chose to 
disrupt the system that marginalized and hu- 
miliated them, even though the consequences 
were the equivalent of a public lynching. 

Sometimes we may feel hopeless; we may 
realize we are powerless to save a person’s 
life, health, honor, house or freedom. In the 
end, maybe we must settle for what the 
woman at Bethany settled for — choosing to 
stand with those who suffer and proclaim their 
reality to what seems like an indifferent world. 

All who consciously choose to enter the 
pain of their fellow human beings along with 
that anonymous woman at Bethany share in 
Jesus’ benediction of her: ‘Truly I tell you, 
wherever the good news is proclaimed in the 
whole world, what she has done will be told in 
remembrance of her.” 

Kathleen Kern, Webster, N.Y., is a Christian 
Peacemaker Teams worker. 


In the end, 
maybe we must 
settle for what 
the woman at 
Bethany settled 
for — choosing to 
stand with those 
who suffer and 
proclaim their 
reality to what 
seems like an 
indifferent world. 


I 


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theMennonite March 23, 1999 


11 


news news news news news news 


Consultation had 
diverse participation 

Among the 120-plus partici- 
pants at the March 11-14 
membership consultation in 
Kansas City, Kan., were two 
representatives from each of 
four General Conference Men- 
nonite Church (GC) congrega- 
tions which have lost their 
membership in Mennonite 
Church (MC) area conferences. 

Ames (Iowa) Mennonite 
Church, Atlanta Mennonite 
Fellowship, Germantown 
Mennonite Church in Philadel- 
phia and Rainbow Mennonite 
Church in Kansas City all have 
had their MC memberships 
terminated because of their 
positions on homosexuality. 

Also present at the consul- 
tation were representatives 
from South Calgary Inter- 
Mennonite Fellowship in Cal- 
gary, which is facing possible 
discipline. 

The invitation-only con- 
sultation also drew two or 
three representatives from 
every U.S. and Canadian area 
conference, racial/ethnic 
groups, general boards, inte- 
gration-related committees 
and denominational staff 
members. The media was 
not allowed at the consulta- 
tion . — Rich Preheim 


12 


Consultation on membership and homosexuality 
finds little common ground on disciplined churches 


KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Gathered to find com- 
mon ground on membership and homosexuali- 
ty, participants at the much anticipated mem- 
bership consultation found little agreement but 
some hope on one of the stickiest issues facing 
the General Conference Mennonite Church (GC), 
Mennonite Church (MC) and Conference of 
Mennonites in Canada (CMC) as they integrate. 

The March 11-14 consultation, called to pro- 
vide counsel for the Membership Committee, 
was driven in part by the question of what to do 
with four congregations who have lost their 
memberships in MC area conferences because 
of their positions on homosexuality (see story, 
left) . All hold membership in the General Con- 
ference Mennonite Church, which grants a 
higher degree of congregational autonomy. 

The consultation could not come to consensus 
but generated individual suggestions from 
some of the gathering’s 120 participants. 

“It’s simply telling us what we knew before, 
that we have a very different polity between 
the General Conference and Mennonite 
Church,” says Membership Committee mem- 
ber Miriam Martin. 

The most common suggestion was to grant the 
disciplined congregations provisional member- 
ship in the new denomination. Another sug- 
gestion was to have the disciplined congrega- 
tions and their area conferences again work at 
their differences. 

‘There’s uncertainty as to what the best 
direction is to proceed that would not end up 
alienating groups, conferences or congrega- 
tions in any direction,” says Doug Basinger, a 
Pacific Southwest Conference representative 
to the consultation. 

Because of the membership disagreements, 
some consultation participants called for delay- 
ing at least the timetable for current GC, MC 
and CMC members to join the new denomina- 
tion. “It may slow the process down because 
the level of common ground is pretty minimal,” 
says Everett Thomas, Mennonite Board of 
Congregational Ministries president and an 
MC staff representative to the consultation. 

“I would regret if we have to slow this 
down,” says Donella Clemens, who was on the 
consultation planning committee and is a mem- 
ber of the Integration Committee. “However, 
we have to work at the pace of the majority.” 


The Membership Committee will take the 
consultation’s counsel into consideration as it 
prepares a recommendation for the GC, MC 
and CMC general boards, which will meet 
April 21-24 in South Bend, Ind. Apart from the 
possible matter of the disciplined congrega- 
tions, committee chair James Waltner says the 
consultation did not change the committee’s 
position that all current GC, MC and CMC 
congregations become part of the new denom- 
ination and that membership criteria be set by 
the area conferences. 

“There’s still autonomy for conferences but 
also encouragement for sensitivity [for the 
positions of] other conferences and the denom- 
ination,” Waltner says. 

The consultation came on the heels of concerns 
about denominational splintering. While the 
gathering did not eliminate that potential, it 
did mitigate it for now. 

“There is still, what felt like to me, a great 
chasm, but I’m a bit more hopeful after the 
meeting than going into it,” says South Central 
Conference representative Richard Headings. 

The consultation produced six “findings of 
significant agreement,” including: 

• Homosexual orientation is not a sin, and 
celibate homosexuals can become members; 

• Homosexuals, including those in same- 
sex relationships, are welcome in the integrat- 
ing church “to share their deepest struggles 
and find healing and hope”; 

• Membership for people in same-sex rela- 
tionships “is not in keeping with the faith state- 
ments” of the integrating churches. 

Participants praised the consultation for bring- 
ing together church members from a wide 
variety of perspectives for worship and dialogue. 
“I developed a better understanding of . . . the 
struggles [homosexuals] go through; I devel- 
oped a better understanding of people who 
[oppose] the directions that the same-sex ori- 
ented person has in mind,” says Northern Dis- 
trict Conference representative Sharon Waltner. 

But Hispanic Mennonite Convention repre- 
sentative Wilson Reyes criticizes the overem- 
phasis on homosexuality. “If we only have two 
congregations or three under discipline,” he 
says, “ why do we spend so much money, ener- 
gy and time [on] this issue when the problem 
isn’t that big .” — Rich Preheim 


theMennonite March 23, 1999 


Renting apartments, creating homes 

Pennsylvania couple sees ministry in being landlords 


NORRISTOWN, Pa. — Can a person be a pastor 
and a landlord? Luke and Dorothy Beidler’s 
friends didn’t think so. 

In 1996, Luke, an associate pastor at New 
Life/Nueva Vida Mennonite Church in Norris- 
town, Pa., and Dorothy, a semiretired teacher, 
decided to buy the apartment building next to 
the church. 

“You’re not tough enough to be a landlord,” 
the Beidlers were told. “You’re too compas- 
sionate. landlords sometimes have to evict 
people — how are you going to do that?” 

The Beidlers are finding out. They recently 
began the process of evicting their first tenant, 
a person with a drinking problem who had let 
his apartment — and his life — deteriorate to the 
point that he couldn’t live there anymore. 

“It feels like a failure,” Dorothy says. “He’s 
very angry with us. But he needs help — he 
needs to go to rehab. The loving thing to do is 
to say, You can’t stay here anymore.’ ” 

The Beidlers bought the building, called the 
Swede Street Home Apartments, a year after 
arriving in Norristown. They had come to the 
community, located 12 miles northwest of 
Philadelphia, so Luke could serve part-time as 
associate pastor at the interracial inner-city 
congregation. The Beidlers had previously 
served in Vietnam and Indonesia as missionar- 
ies and with Mennonite Central Committee. 
From 1985 to 1995, Luke was missions direc- 
tor for Franconia Conference. 

When the Beidlers decided to buy the building, 
Luke enrolled in the Mennonite Economic 
Development Associates-supported ASSETS 
program for entrepreneurs, which operates out 
of the New Life church building. The program 
helped the Beidlers with business issues and to 
define their vision for the apartment building. 

“We see being a landlord as a ministry,” Luke 
says. “It also happens to help us pay the bills.” 
But what happens when there’s a conflict 
between ministry and paying the bills? After 
all, the Beidlers had to take out a loan to buy 
the building. The bank wants its payments on 
time. What if tenants don’t pay? 

It helps that the Beidlers live in the build- 
ing. “We aren’t absentee landlords,” Dorothy 
says. “It’s our home, too.” 

They share their home with 16 other tenants, 
all of whom are low-income or on social assis- 
tance. The 14 modest efficiency apartments 
rent for $290 to $385 a month. More than half 
the residents are people of color. 

The Beidlers have found creative ways to 
encourage tenants to leave without resorting 
to eviction. ‘"When we bought the building, 





Luke and Dorothy Beidler bought an apartment building 
three years ago after moving to Norristown, Pa. Being land- 
lords helps pay the bills, they say, but it has also provided 
opportunities for helping their tenants. 

four of the tenants were into drugs or dealing 
drugs,” Luke says. “We convinced them it 
would be better to leave voluntarily rather than 
be forcibly evicted.” 

One of the creative ways they found to deal 
with unpaid rent was to forgive the debt if 
chronic defaulters would simply leave. “We 
took some losses, but it’s made the building a 
better place to live,” Luke says. The Beidlers 
even bought one tenant a one-way bus ticket to 
California when he said that was the only place 
he could find somewhere to live. 

Sometimes tenants aren't able to pay the rent 
on time. “We try to go the extra mile, work out 
a payment plan,” Luke says. “We talk about 
how far we are willing to go but also where the 
boundary is before we have to act. 

“Sometimes we offer incentives, like lower- 
ing the rent if they pay on time.” 

This may not always be the best business 
decision, but Dorothy says, “We’re trying to 
create a home here — not just run an apartment 
building.” 

Tenants are welcome to stop by and visit, 
and for Thanksgiving the Beidlers invited all 
the residents to join them in their own apart- 
ment for a meal. Dorothy has developed spe- 
cial relationships with three women, taking 
time to listen to them and provide various 
kinds of support. The Beidlers have told the 
state they will take people with various handi- 
caps; eight tenants have disabilities, including 
one whose lack of fine motor skills will require 
them to help him clean his apartment. 

The Beidlers hope the tenants see them as 
caring landlords. Their efforts must be work- 
ing; last year, for the first time, there was no 
turnover. Says Luke. “It’s nice to be able to 
always say there’s no vacancy .” — MEDA News 
Service 


We aren't absen- 
tee landlords. It's 
our home, too. 

— Dorothy Beidler 


Merger presses on 
with new directory 

The first joint directory for 
the integrating Mennonite 
Church has rolled off the 
press. The 339-page Menno- 
nite Directory replaces the 
General Conference Menno- 
nite Church Handbook of Infor- 
mation, Mennonite Church 
Mennonite Yearbook and Con- 
ference of Mennonites in 
Canada Directory. 

The book, which lists all 
member congregations, 
boards, staff members and 
related organizations, is 
available from all Faith & 

Life and Provident book- 
stores.— GCMC-MC-CMC 
newsservices 


theMennonite March 23, 1999 


13 



news news news news news news 


Bangladeshis, 
Kenyans share ideas 

The water hyacinth has 
become an environmental 
and economic danger in East 
Africa, choking Lake Victoria 
and harming fishing, naviga- 
tion, irrigation, dams and 
more. 

Butin Bangladesh, people 
have lived with the weed for 
years and have discovered it 
has some value. With Menno- 
nite Central Committee (MCC) 
assistance, a number of Ban- 
gladeshi groups have started 
manufacturing paper, furni- 
ture and other products out 
of water hyacinth fibers. 

Now MCC has helped 
Bangladeshis share their 
expertise with Kenyans. The 
result has been the develop- 
ment of a Kenyan organiza- 
tion which also makes paper 
and furniture from water 
hyacinth fibers. Exchange 
visits are planned between 
Bangladeshi and Kenyan 
artisans . — MCC News Service 


14 


Earning the equivalent of 
$1 .60 per day, Bangladeshi 
Ashok Biswas breaks bricks 
with a hammer. The result- 
ing gravel will be mixed with 
sand and cement to make 
concrete pillars to rebuild 
houses destroyed by 
Bangladesh's 1998 floods. 
The country, located on a 
river delta, has no stones. So 
bricks are made and then 
broken to create building 
materials. Mennonite Cen- 
tral Committee has commit- 
ted $500,000 for flood- 
response projects but has 
received only about one- 
fourth of the needed funds. 



Lots of work but little attention 


With MCC help, Bangladeshis rebuilding after flood 


DHAKA, Bangladesh — It’s Khalil Ullah’s first 
wheat crop, and he nurtures it carefully. He 
even rises before dawn to drag a string across 
the top of the plants to knock off the dew so it 
can water the roots instead of evaporating in 
the intense sun. 

“I’ll feed my family with this crop,” Ullah 
says with pride. 

In that same field last fall, monsoon-spawned 
flood waters stood for more than two months, 
rotting the rice which Ullah normally plants. 
The flooding destroyed nearly 2 million acres 
of crops across Bangladesh, and farmers are 
still struggling to recover. 

The seeds for Ullah’s wheat crop — which 
will be harvested this month — came from 
Mennonite Central Committee and was part of 
the organization’s $500,000 flood response. 
MCC has also organized food-for-work projects 
and rebuilt houses after initially providing 
relief aid for stranded families. 

But MCC has received only a quarter of the 
funds needed for its Bangladesh response as 
Hurricane Mitch has overshadowed the del- 
uge and destruction halfway around the world. 

Crop losses mean difficult choices — with 
sometimes deadly consequences. It can mean 
eating less, which in turn makes people more 
vulnerable to illness and gives them less 
strength for work. Money lenders may charge 
100 percent interest or more. If another disas- 
ter strikes, farmers may have to sell their land, 
thus dooming their children to even worse 
poverty. They could move to the capital city of 
Dhaka and join the throngs of beggars. 

theMennonite March 23, 1999 


After the flood, Shana Buddin couldn’t find 
any work and had to borrow money from 
neighbors. “I’ll have to work extra hard to 
repay my debt,” he says. 

He now earns MCC wheat in a food-for- 
work project constructing an embankment 25 
feet long and six feet high to protect fields 
from future floods. The project draws an aver- 
age of 300 men a day, but some days that num- 
ber jumps to 1,000. 

Meanwhile, 182 Bangladeshi women who 
craft paper and other items for sale in Ten 
Thousand Villages stores are getting a boost 
in rebuilding their flood-damaged homes. U.S. 
and Canadian Ten Thousand Villages stores 
have raised $18,000 for a loan fund for the 
women to build houses reinforced with concrete 
pillars cemented into the ground and topped 
with corrugated tin roofs. Many of the previous 
houses were made of bamboo, which rotted 
after several years and sank into the soft soil. 

The loan fund will enable each woman to 
borrow as much as $160 interest free for five 
years. “The producers are so excited about 
their new houses,” says Lincoln Imran, a 
Bangladeshi who serves with MCC. 

The Dayton, Va., Ten Thousand Villages 
store contributed money equivalent to their 
proceeds from the 1998 Virginia relief sale. 
“Our store opened about five years ago, and 
now that we are beginning to show a profit, 
our board felt we should give something back 
to the artisans,” says store manager Kim 
Showalter. “After all, that is why we’re here, to 
serve .” — Pearl Sensenig of MCC News Service 


MCC photo by Jim King 


Back in the United States, missionary children 
struggle with forced departure from assignment 


GOSHEN, Ind. — Joanna, Rebekah, Andy and 
Jonathan Shenk had 10 days to process their 
family’s sudden need to leave Bookhnog, the 
village in Dagestan they had called home for 
more than two years. Three months later, they 
continue to try to understand. 

On Dec. 19, Mennonite Board of Missions 
(MBM) workers Alice and Phil Shenk and 
their four children learned that the govern- 
ment of the autonomous Russian republic of 
Dagestan would no longer renew foreign 
visas because of the kidnapping of several mis- 
sion workers from the region and the violence 
in neighboring Chechnya. The Shenks had 10 
days to say farewells to their friends before 
leaving for the United States, not knowing 
when or if they will return. 

Now in Goshen, Ind., the four Shenk siblings 
immerse themselves in North American life 
once again, but their friends and their memo- 
ries of leaving are never far from their thoughts. 

For 16-year-old Joanna, the hardest part is 
not knowing when she will see her friends 
again. “Some of my friends were just starting 
to understand about Jesus,” she says. “I had so 
many things to tell them.” 

Joanna also speaks of her dreams for the 
English students she helped her father to 
teach. “Why am I here when I was needed 
there?” she asks. 

Rebekah, 13, says that more than anything 
else, she misses their lifestyle in Dagestan. 

‘We lived close to nature, and I liked that,” she 
says. ‘We lived at a slow pace.” 

Rebekah’s skills in washing clothes and 
raising chickens were noticed in Bookhnog. 

To the amazement of village friends, the chick- 
ens under her care even laid eggs during the 
winter. Rebekah also mastered the dancelike 
step women use to scrub clothes with their 
bare feet. 

Andy, 11, takes a realistic approach to the 
family’s sudden change in plans. “It’s what 
happened,” he says, and the family has learned 
to deal with it. Still, leaving was hard, Andy 
says, and “the bad outweighed the good.” 

Jonathan, an energetic 8-year-old, misses 
going on hikes in the mountainous region 
around Bookhnog. When he saw Andy and 
Rebekah crying the day the news of their 
forced departure came, he says he wondered 
at first if they had been peeling onions. Then 
he learned the reason for their tears and 
became “really sad” that he had to leave his 
friends, chickens and cats, he says. Jonathan 
would like to “write a little story” so he will 
remember his feelings about leaving. 

But Andy and Jonathan agree that there are 


two good reasons to be in Indiana: Deborah 
and Nathan, their eldest siblings. Deborah is a 
sophomore at Taylor University in Upland, and 
Nathan is a senior at Bethany Christian High 
School in Goshen. 

Nathan once again lives with his family in a 
house the Shenks describe as a gift from God. 
More than 35 families from area Mennonite 
congregations donated furniture and other 
household items for the Shenks’ temporary 
home. One family even gave them a dog. 

Nathan says it has been good to live with 
his family again, but he also knows the months 
since they left Dagestan have been hard for 
them. The Shenks, who left behind one new 
believer and many seekers, want to return as 
soon as possible to the place where they left 
pieces of their hearts. 

Meanwhile, the people of Bookhnog miss 
the Shenks, too. Phil translates the first letter 
the family received since leaving Dagestan: 
“When we returned [from the airport] without 
you, our youngest son cried and said, Where 
are Jonathan and Andy?’ And I calmed him 
down by saying that they’ll soon come back.” 

The Shenks hope so . — Bethany Swope of 
MBM News Service 



theMennonite March 23, 1999 


Some of my 
friends were just 
starting to under- 
stand about Jesus. 

I had so many 
things to tell them. 

— Joanna Shenk 


California 

blessing 

Commission on Educa- 
tion staff member Ken 
Hawkley (left) and 
Florence Njoku, a mem- 
ber of Los Angeles Faith 
Chapel, share a blessing 
of "living water" during a 
worship service in Los 
Angeles. Hawkley and 
three other staff mem- 
bers from COE and Men- 
nonite Board of Congre- 
gational Ministries visit- 
ed Southern California 
Feb. 19-20 for a series of 
Christian education 
training sessions for 
mostly non-Anglo con- 
gregations. Issues 
addressed included use 
of prayer and story- 
telling, youth and 
bivocational congrega- 
tional staff. 

15 



news news news news news news 


MCC board: continue Iraqi assistance, witness 
despite possibility of legal ramifications 


This is an act of 
civil disobedience. 
But it is warranted 
to show the Iraqi 
people that they 
are our neighbors. 

— George Richert 


ABBOTSFORD, B.C. — Refusing to let the U.S. 
government impede its relations with Iraq, the 
Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) board 
has reaffirmed a decision to continue sending 
delegations and relief supplies to the sanctions- 
strapped country, even though doing so could 
result in penalties against the agency. 

MCC has shipped items such as medicines, 
bandages and school supplies to Iraq with the 
permission of the U.S. government and the 
United Nations Sanctions Committee. But MCC 
has also sent three delegations, which have 
included eight Americans, to Iraq. U.S. citizens 
are, in most cases, prohibited from traveling to 
that country. The most recent delegation 
returned March 12. MCC on several occasions 
has also provided leukemia medicines bought 
in Jordan to hospitals in Baghdad and Karbala. 
Such action is also prohibited by U.N. sanctions. 

“It is technically possible we could receive a 
notice of being in violation of the sanctions 
regime,” Judy Zimmerman Herr of the MCC 
Peace Office told the board at its Feb. 19-20 
meeting in Abbotsford. “We don’t expect it, but 
we want the board to be aware of this. And we 
will continue advocacy to end sanctions. In 
doing that we will continue to include U.S. citi- 
zens even though there is a restriction. We 
assume that responsibility. We will continue to 
focus on the human issue there.” 

Jubilee Partners, another organization 
working to bring to light the suffering caused 
by international sanctions on Iraq, was notified 
by the U.S. Department of the Treasury in Jan- 
uary that it may be in violation of government 
orders banning travel by U.S. citizens to Iraq 
and the unauthorized transfer of medicines to 
Iraqi hospitals, and may be fined. Penalties 
could range from $275,000 to $1 million 
and/ or 12 years in prison. 

The MCC board approved a statement rec- 
ognizing and accepting the implications of vio- 
lating U.S. and U.N. sanctions restrictions. 
“MCC will continue to sponsor visiting delega- 
tions as that fits our larger program objective 
and will overlook the restrictions placed on 
U.S. citizens,” the statement says. “Personal 
relationships and human connections are cen- 
tral to the mission of MCC, and decision 
authority on this should not be assigned 
uncritically to a government entity.” 

“This is an act of civil disobedience,” said 
board member George Richert. “But it is war- 
ranted to show the Iraqi people that they are 
our neighbors.” 



An Iraqi man browses through used books at a weekly side- 
walk book market in Baghdad. In the English-language sec- 
tion, all the books, including medical textbooks, were copy- 
righted 1985 and earlier. Iraqis suffering under United 
Nations sanctions since the Persian Gulf War have turned to 
selling personal possessions for income. 

He reminded the board that MCC earlier 
sent relief and education supplies to Laos and 
Vietnam during the Vietnam War despite U.S. 
restrictions. ‘The Vietnamese remembered 
that, and we were one of the first nongovern- 
mental organizations allowed back after the 
war was over,” Richert said. “Civil disobedi- 
ence is not outside the call of Christ.” 

Richert is a Canadian who has visited Iraq. 
Canadian citizens are not bound by the same 
restrictions as U.S. citizens. 

The board-approved statement also says: 
“MCC will continue to consider humanitarian 
relief shipments. We will seek the approval 
required via the U.S. or Canadian governments 
and approval from the U.N. Sanctions Commit- 
tee. For MCC there is a difference between 
submitting to government authorities on ship- 
ments for humanitarian supplies and on deci- 
sions about personal encounter .” — John M. 
Spidaliere for MCC News Service 


16 


theMennonite March 23, 1999 



Mennonite Central Committee 

21 South 12th Street 
PO Box 500 
Akron, PA 17501-0500 
(717)859-1151 

MCC Canada 

1 34 Plaza Drive 
Winnipeg, MB R3T 5K9 
(204) 261-6381 
toll free (888) 622-6337 


God told the Israelites to treat 
newcomers justly and that, “the 
stranger who sojourns with you 
shall be to you as the native 
among you, and you shall love 
the stranger as yourself; for you 
were strangers in the land of 
Egypt....” (Leviticus 19:34) 

Just as our ancestors were 
welcomed to North America 
years ago, we are today asked 
to show that same hospitality 
to newcomers in our midst. 

“I was a stranger and 
you welcomed me.” 

(Matthew 25:35) 

A resource available from 
MCC U.S. titled “Welcoming 
the Newcomer: Doing 
Advocacy with Immigrants,” 
confronts the issues surrounding 
immigration and answers the 
question, “How can I help my 
neighbor?” To receive a copy of 
the packet, contact MCC U.S. at 
(717)859-3889. 


Mennonite 

Central 

Committee 



»fs newsbriefs newsbriefs 


by the 
way ... 

During World War II, 35,000- 
37,000 Mennonites from the 
Soviet Union were resettled 
in Germany by the Nazis. 

— Mennonite Historian 


Health organization names president 

GOSHEN, Ind. — Rick Stiffney has been 
named president of Mennonite Health Ser- 
vices, effective immediately. He had been 
interim president since August 1998, when 
president Larry Nikkei became interim presi- 
dent of Tabor College, Hillsboro, Kan. 

Stiffney previously was senior vice presi- 
dent at Greencroft, a Goshen, Ind., retirement 
community, and vice president for home min- 
istries at Mennonite Board of Missions. 

Mennonite Health Services is an organiza- 
tion of 60 Anabaptist-related health and 
human services organizations. MHS also pro- 
vides consulting and management services to 
nonprofit organizations. 

MBM gives grant for El Paso, Texas, work 

ELKHART, Ind. — Mennonite Board of Mis- 
sions (MBM) has awarded a $5,000 grant to 
help Amor Viviente U.S.A. with church plant- 
ing in El Paso, Texas. Amor Viviente, an 
Anabaptist denomination based in Honduras, 
has developed a 100-person congregation in 
El Paso during the past year. 

The congregation, whose work includes 
ministries to people with alcohol and drug 
addictions, wants to expand its efforts across 
the border. “Our goal is basically for this con- 
gregation to have the capacity to establish 
another congregation in Mexico,” says MBM 
field staff member Hector Urbina. “We want 
to use our congregation as a training center.” 

MBM has given 21 such grants in 1998-99. 
— MBM News Service 


Family growth 

Infant Ethan Hall gets his 
aunt Sherry Thiesen's 
attentions while having 
lunch in the arms of his 
mother, and Thiesen's sis- 
ter, Daphne Hall. Thiesen 
and the Halls were 
attending a Feb. 13-14 
event on families held at 
Bethesda Mennonite 
Church in Henderson, 
Neb. The weekend 
addressed immediate, 
extended and church 
families. 



18 


theMennonite March 23, 1999 


Former hospital official accused of fraud 

BLOOMINGTON, 111.— The former chief 
financial officer of one of the last Mennonite- 
affiliated hospitals is the subject of a lawsuit 
charging him with fraud in the disappearance 
of $606,233. 

The lawsuit brought by BroMenn Regional 
Medical Center claims Edgar Smith in 1983 
created a bank account ostensibly to manage 
rental property the hospital owns. But he tun- 
neled money from the account into a secret 
fund for his personal use, according to the 
suit. Smith left the hospital in 1997. 

BroMenn’s lawsuit seeks recovery of the 
money allegedly taken, including interest, 
Smith’s salary during that time and $1 million 
in punitive damages. The Internal Revenue 
Service is also investigating, and federal and 
criminal charges are expected. 

BroMenn was formed in 1984 by the merg- 
er of Mennonite Hospital in Bloomington and 
Brokaw Hospital in nearby Normal. Twenty- 
four Mennonite congregations are among the 
hospital’s owners . — Peoria Journal Star 


Mennonite Health Assembly 
March 25-28,1999 
Colorado Springs, Colorado 


Deeply woven roots: 



Nurturing 
new growth. 


Featuring 
June Alliman 
Gary 
Vincent 

Sponsored by 
Mennonite Mutual Aid 


Mennonite Health Services 


For registration information call MHA 
at 1-800-348-7468. 


Mental health care champion dies at age 80 

COLUMBUS, Ohio— Arthur Jost, who helped 
guide Mennonite work in the mental health 
care field, died March 4 at the age of 80. 

His interest in mental health began as a 
Civilian Public Service worker during World 
War II. Jost lobbied for the establishment of 
church-operated mental hospitals, and after 
the war he joined Mennonite Mental Health 
Services in establishing hospitals around the 
country. He served as chief executive officer 
of Kings View Center, Reedley, Calif., from 
1948 until his retirement in 1986. 

Jost, who later moved to Columbus where 
he was a member of Columbus Mennonite 
Church, also served on the board of Menno- 
nite Mutual Aid and was a member of the 
New Call to Peacemaking steering committee. 

A native of Saskatchewan, Jost was denied 
U.S. citizenship in the 1950s because he was a 
conscientious objector. He appealed his case 
all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which 
ruled in his favor . — Christian Leader 

Colombian peacemaker witnesses historic talks 

SAN VICENTE, Colombia — When the first- 
ever peace talks between Colombian guerril- 
las and the country’s president were held ear- 
lier this year, a Colombian Mennonite was 
there to witness it. 


Ricardo Esquivia, director of JustaPaz, the 
peace and justice office of the Colombia Men- 
nonite Church, was invited by President Andres 
Pastrana to attend the talks as an observer. 

The invitation is viewed as legitimizing 
Protestants in the predominantly Catholic 
country. 

Colombia has been ravaged by almost 50 
years of civil war among three main guerrilla 
groups, state military forces and various inde- 
pendent paramilitary squads. — GCMC-CMC 
news services 

Mennonite friend in Botswana dies 

NEWTON, Kan. — Archbishop Israel Mot- 
swasele, head of the Spiritual Healing Church 
in Botswana, who visited the General Confer- 
ence Mennonite Church triennial sessions in 
Sioux Falls, S.D., in 1992, died March 1. He 
was 65. 

For more than 25 years, Motswasele was a 
key figure in work with African Independent 
Churches by Africa Inter-Mennonite Mission, 
Commission on Overseas Mission and Men- 
nonite Central Committee. “In all our relation- 
ships, Motswasele made us feel surrounded 
by love and acceptance,” says Jim Juhnke, 
who with Anna, his wife, directed MCC work 
in Botswana from 1970 to 1972. — GCMC- 
A1MM-MCC news services 


1999 National Conference 

Church Music 





June 3-6, 1999 


A national conference, Church Music: Looking Back into the Future, 
for pastors, church musicians, academic musicians and laypersons inter- 
ested in crafting a thoughtful future for music in the church will be held 
at Messiah College June 3-6, 1999. The conference is sponsored by 
the Louisville Institute, the Boyer Center, and in cooperation with the 
Calvin College Institute for Christian Worship. Scholars and practition- 
ers will gather to discuss issues most vital to effective music ministry, 
using historical and current resources of the Christian tradition. Teams 
of church leaders and academic musicians who will work together follow- 
ing the conference are encouraged to attend. 

Registration is $150 per person, including all meals. A discount of $50 
per person is available to teams of three or more if registration is paid 
as a group. For conference materials and registration information, contact 
the Boyer Center or visit the web site at www.boyercenter.org. 


THE 



CENTER 


Messiah College • One College Avenue • Grantham, PA 17027 
Phone: (717) 796-5077 • Fax: (717) 796-5081 
E-MAIL: Registrations@boyercenter.org 


theMennonite March 23, 1999 


19 


the record for the record for the record 


Events 

Council on Church and Media 

annual meeting, April 16-18, 
Toronto. Contact 219-294-7131 
or ccm44@excite.com. 
"Replacing Fear With Hope: 

Violence Prevention in Our Com- 
munities" conference, April 15-17, 
Goshen (Ind.) College. Contact: 
joannp@goshen.edu or 219-535- 
7556. 

"Neighbors After All: A Biblical 
Approach to Immigration" Men- 
nonite Central Committee U.S. 
Washington Office spring seminar, 
April 25-27. Contact: 202-544- 
6564 or mccwash@mcc.org. 

Workers 

Correction: The name of Eliza- 
beth Caes was misspelled in the 
Feb. 23 issue. 

Births 

Baker, Jack Cole, Feb. 27, to 
Rick and Shira Baker, Elizabeth- 
town, Pa. 

Cossins, Kayla Dolyne, Jan. 2, 
to Denise (Dester) and Rob 
Cossins, Spring Hill, Kan. 

Dester, Emma Faith, Feb. 19, 
to Gary and Toni (Dunn) Dester, 
West Lafayette, Ind. 

Hackman, Elise Michelle, 

Feb. 19, to Andre and Shelly 
Hackman, Baltimore. 

Herrold, Hunter Douglas, 

Feb. 19, to Aida and Doug Her- 
rold, Winter Springs, Fla. 


Meyer, Katie Marie, Feb. 2, to 
Carrie (Wright) and Kevin Meyer, 
Lebanon, Pa. 

Plank, Joel Mark, Feb. 27, to 
Kathy (Blosser) and Mark Plank, 
Syracuse, Ind. 

Snader, Melanie Jean, Feb. 
28, to Charles and Lisa (Oswald) 
Snader, Goshen, Ind. 
Sollenberger, Paul Allen, 

Feb. 14, to Glenna (Murray) and 
Marcus Sollenberger, Campinas, 
Brazil. 

Streicher, Devon Scott, Jan. 
10, to Cindy (Kuepfer) and Ervin 
Streicher, Newton, Ont. 
Stutzman, Tanner Scott, Feb. 
19, to Julie (Gerber) and Stacy 
Stutzman, Sarasota, Fla. 

Troyer, William Thomas, 
March 5, to Krista (Vogt) and Tim 
Troyer, Goshen, Ind. 

Weiler, Lauren Rose, Feb. 11, 
to Rosanne (Martin) and Willie 
Weiler, Myerstown, Pa. 

Marriages 

Burkholder/Wideman: Ryan 
Burkholder, Uxbridge, Ont., and 
Rhonda Wideman, Breslau, Ont., 
Feb. 13 at Breslau Mennonite 
Church. 

Kramer/Stover: Doris Kramer, 
Hatfield, Pa., and Bert Stover, 
Souderton, Pa., Feb. 20 at Grace 
Mennonite Church, Lansdale, Pa. 
McComsey/Umble: Samuel 
McComsey Jr., Christiana, Pa., 
and Angela Umble, Christiana, 
Feb. 20 at Maple Grove Menno- 
nite Church, Atglen, Pa. 


Deaths 

Becker, Mary Regehr, 85, 

Inman, Kan., died Jan. 27. 
Spouse: Jake Becker. Other sur- 
vivors: son Gene Becker; two 
grandchildren; one great-grand- 
child. Funeral: Jan. 30 at Bethel 
Mennonite Church, Inman. 
Bickel, Elizabeth, 73, Raleigh, 
N.C., died Jan. 28. Spouse: Don- 
ald Bickel. Other survivors: chil- 
dren Mark, Geoffrey, Peter; three 
grandchildren. Funeral: Jan. 31 
at Raleigh. 

Birky,Anna Lapp, 84, 

Kalispell, Mont., died Feb. 13. 
Spouse: Elmer Birky (deceased). 
Parents: Frank and Lena Lapp 
(deceased). Survivors: children 
Lawrence, Lyle, Dale, Allen; 15 
grandchildren; 38 great-grand- 
children; three great-great- 
grandchildren. Funeral: Feb. 19 
at Mountain View Mennonite 
Church, Kalispell. 
Brockmueller, Annie Hofer, 
90, Freeman, S. D., died Feb. 28 
of cancer. Spouse: (1st) Paul 
Hofer (deceased); (2nd) Sam 
Brockmueller. Parents: Jacob and 
Elizabeth Hofer (deceased). 

Other survivors: children Norman 
Hofer, Paul Hofer Jr., Gladys 
Mendel; stepchildren Percy and 
Rudy Brockmueller, Blanche 
Tschetter; 12 grandchildren. 
Funeral: March 3 at Hutterthal 
Mennonite Church, Freeman. 


ALASKA. 

August 4-16, 1999 

Leaders - Mary & Hubert 

Schwartzentruber 
Enjoy majestic beauty, shimmering 
glaciers, deep fjords, soaring eagles, 
l .OOO-mile cruise and the fellowship 
of Mennonite friends from all over 
North America. 

Call 1-800-565-0451 

for a brochure. Ask about our Oberammergau tours. 

TourMagination 

1011 Cathill Road 22 King St. S., Suite 401 

Sellersville, PA 18960 Waterloo, ON N2J 1N8 



Falb, Milton, 86, Walnut Creek, 
Ohio, died Feb. 17. Spouse: Esther 
Beechy Falb. Parents: David and 
Martha Falb (deceased). Other 
survivors: children Jane Sears, 
Betty Hochstetler, Dean, Don; 
eight grandchildren; two great- 
grandchildren. Funeral: Feb. 21 
at Martins Mennonite Church, 
Orrville, Ohio. 

Gascho, Ida, 90, Cairo, Neb., 
died Feb. 10 of a stroke. Parents: 
Joseph and Jacobina Gascho 
(deceased). Funeral: Feb. 13 at 
Wood River (Neb.) Mennonite 
Church. 

Godshall, Doris Mae Stout, 

76, Lakeworth, Fla., died Feb. 16. 
Spouse: William Godshall. Par- 
ents: Ralph and Georgina Stout 
(deceased). Other survivors: chil- 
dren Ralph, James, Gerald; 10 
grandchildren; 13 great-grand- 
I children. Funeral: Feb. 22 at Fran- 
j conia (Pa.) Mennonite Church. 
Hartzler, Julia Yoder, 79, 
Belleville, Pa., died Feb. 27. 
Spouse: Jefferson Hartzler 
(deceased). Parents: Samuel and 
Jemima Yoder Yoder (deceased). 
Survivors: children Jefferson, 
Margaret Neer, Arlene Yoder; 10 
grandchildren. Funeral: March 2 
at Locust Grove Mennonite 
J. Church, Belleville. 


Hunsberger, William, 94, 

Spring City, Pa., died Feb. 1 of 
pneumonia. Spouse: Waneta 
Shenk Hunsband Hunsberger. 
Parents: Martin and Emma Jane 
Jones Hunsberger (deceased). 
Other survivors: children Ray, 
Phillip, June Nafziger, Jane; 12 
grandchildren; 25 great-grand- 
children. Funeral: Feb. 5 at Vin- 
cent Mennonite Church, Spring 
City. 

Kenagy, Eva Mary Lais, 86 , 

Canby, Ore., died Feb. 17. Spouse: 
Roy Kenagy. Parents: Daniel and 
Ellen Egli Lais (deceased). Other 
survivors: children Larry Lais, 
stepchildren Audrey Schrock, 
Leroy Kenagy, Todd Kenagy; 22 
grandchildren; 52 great-grand- 
children. Funeral: Feb. 22 at Zion 
Mennonite Church, Hubbard, Ore. 
Lawrence, Guy, 70, Boyertown, 
Pa., died Feb. 19. Spouse: Irene 
Lawrence. Other survivors: chil- 
dren Linda Cappel, Lowell, Larry, 
Linwood; seven grandchildren; 
seven great-grandchildren. 
Funeral: Feb. 23 at Boyertown. 


Mennonites 

meet in the 

pages of... 






Open the magazine to find: 

•UpClose profiles *Faith&Life features 
•Conversations with readers 
•News about Mennonites in Canada and beyond 

Order your subscription today. 

Canadian Mennonite, 312 Marsland Drive 
Waterloo, Ontario N2J 3Z1 Canada 
Phone: 1-800-378-2524 Fax: (519) 884-3331 
E-mail: circul@canadianmennonite.org 


20 


theMennonite March 23, 1999 


Lehman, Richard, 80, Berlin, 
Pa., died Feb. 22. Spouse: Ethel 
Grine Croyle. Parents: Hiram and 
Mary Thomas Lehman (deceased). 
Other survivors: daughter Lillian 
Bunker; one grandchild. Funeral: 
Feb. 25 at Thomas Mennonite 
Church, Hollsopple, Pa. 
Longacre-Smith, Anne, 38, 
Bally, Pa., died Feb. 16 of cancer. 
Spouse: Kenneth Smith. Parents: 
Daniel and Gail Longacre. Other 
survivors: stepchildren Brenda 
Smith, Deborah Wanamaker, 
Sharyn Smith, Andrea Smith; 
two stepgrandchildren. Memori- 
al service: Feb. 20 at Bally (Pa.) 
Mennonite Church. 


Luther, Martin, 90, Kouts, Ind., 
died Feb. 17. Spouse: (1st) Isabelle 
Foster Luther (deceased); (2nd) 
Frances Birky Luther. Parents: 
Robert and Ella Weaver Luther 
(deceased). Other survivors: chil- 
dren Fred, Betty Jennings, Vera 
Kirby, Richard, Gene; stepchildren 
Lyle Whitmer, Virginia Nunemak- 
er, Karen Bachman; 13 grandchil- 
dren; 21 great-grandchildren. 
Funeral: Feb. 20 atTipp City, Ohio. 
Mast, Beulah, 94, Millersburg, 
Ohio, died Feb. 21. Spouse: Paul 
Mast (deceased). Parents: John 
and Lydia Miller (deceased). Sur- 
vivors: children Carolyn Schultz, 
Julia Mishler, Ellis; seven grand- 
children; six great-grandchildren. 
Funeral: Feb. 24 at Martins Creek 
Mennonite Church, Millersburg. 




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Miller, Ralph, 80, Sarasota, Fla., 
died Feb. 7 from heart complica- 
tions. Spouse: Rosetta Miller. 
Parents: Crist and Sarah Shrock 
Miller (deceased). Other sur- 
vivors: children Lynette Vandasle, 
Garry; five grandchildren. Memo- 
rial service: Feb. 25 at Bay Shore 
Mennonite Church, Sarasota. 
Mylin, Emma Newcomer, 90, 
Millersville, Pa., died Feb. 22. 
Spouse: Robert Mylin. Parents: 
Amos and Clara Witmer Newcomer 
(deceased). Other survivors: chil- 
dren Dorothy Weidman, Lois 
Keller, Richard, Glen; 16 grand- 
children; 20 great-grandchildren. 
Funeral: Feb. 26 at Millersville 
(Pa.) Mennonite Church. 

Oswald, Alvin Daniel, 78, 
Manson, Iowa, died Feb. 4. 
Spouse: Helen Miller Oswald. 
Parents: Daniel and Katie Oswald 
(deceased). Other survivors: chil- 
dren Larry, Ladella Hershberger, 
Donald, David, Rachel Yoder; 14 
grandchildren; three great- 
grandchildren. Funeral: Feb. 8 at 
Trinity Mennonite Church, Glen- 
dale, Ariz. 

Quiring, Herman, 77, Cordell, 
Okla., died Feb. 23 of cancer. Par- 
ents: Peter and Suzanna Quiring 
(deceased). Funeral: Feb. 25 at 
Herald Mennonite Church, 

Bessie, Okla. 

Raeburn, Alexandra Eliza- 
beth, stillborn Feb. 20, Bluffton, 
Ohio. Parents: Ray and Beth 
Suter Raeborn. Funeral: Feb. 23 
at Bluffton. 


Saltzman, Gertrude 
Schweitzer, 96, Shickley, Neb., 
died Feb. 24. Spouse: Ben Saltzman 
(deceased). Parents: Nick and 
Mattie Troyer Schweitzer (deceased). 
Survivors: children Ruby Kennel, 
Bonnie Stutzman, Roland, Donald, 
Darreld, Mattie Kuhns, Aubrey, 
Barbara Eichelberger, Gary; 21 
grandchildren; 39 great-grand- 
children; four great-great-grand- 
children. Funeral: Feb. 27 at Salem 
Mennonite Church, Shickley. 
Swartzendruber, Bernetta 
Schweitzer, 75, Shickley, Neb., 
died Feb. 19. Spouse: Virgil 
Swartzendruber. Parents: Lloyd 
and Katie Springer Schweitzer 
(deceased). Other survivors: chil- 
dren Billie, Robin Lobeda; seven 
grandchildren; three great-grand- 
children. Funeral: Feb. 22 at Salem 
Mennonite Church, Shickley. 
Swartzendruder, Dolce, 76, 
Sarasota, Fla., died Feb. 22 of a 
stroke. Spouse: Fred Swartzen- 
druder. Other survivors: children 
Anita Fobes, Fred, Galen, Steven; 
nine grandchildren. Funeral: Feb. 
25 at Bay Shore Mennonite 
Church, Sarasota. 
Schwarzentraub, Menno, 94, 
Morton, III, died Feb. 26. Spouse: 
Lela Schwarzentraub. Parents: 
Joseph and Johanna Kennel 
Schwarzentraub (deceased). Other 
survivors: children Kenneth, 
Donald, Delores Kirkwood; seven 
grandchildren; six great-grand- 
children. Funeral: March 2 at Cal- 
vary Mennonite Church, Wash- 
ington, III. 


Varvaro, Joyce, 66, Staten 
Island, N. Y., died Feb. 2. Spouse: 
Frank Varvaro (deceased). Sur- 
vivors: children Francis, Thomas, 
Torrence, Julie Sanchez, Marie 
Glover, Diane DeBraan, Carolyn; 
nine grandchildren; one great 
grandchild. Funeral: Feb. 5 at 
Staten Island. 

Wogomon, Irene Weldy, 82, 

Goshen, Ind., died Feb. 27. 
Spouse: Walter Wogomon. Par- 
ents: John and Mable Yoder Gra- 
bill (deceased). Other survivors: 
daughter Alice Lehman; step- 
daughter Connie McGowen; five 
grandchildren; five stepgrand- 
children; six great-grandchildren; 
six stepgreat-grandchildren. 
Funeral: March 3 at College Men- 
nonite Church, Goshen. 
Weinsheimer, William, 70, 
Wadsworth, Ohio, died Feb. 4. 
Parents: Phlaran and Margaret 
Weinsheimer (deceased). Funer- 
al: Feb. 8 at Wadsworth. 

Yoder, Emma, 89, Walnut 
Creek, Ohio, died Feb. 18. 

Spouse: Eli Yoder (deceased). 
Parents: Jonas and Katie Miller 
Coblentz (deceased). Survivors: 
children Betty Raber, Elsie Gin- 
gerich, Gene; eight grandchil- 
dren; seven great-grandchildren. 
Funeral: Feb. 21 at Martins Creek 
Mennonite Church, Millersburg, 
Ohio. 


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theMennonite March 23, 1999 


21 




classifieds 


• Amigo Centre, Sturgis, Mich., seeks summer program director 

Experience in Christian camping, teaching or youth ministry desirable. Con- 
tact brian@amigocentre.org or call 616-651-2811. 

• Lancaster Mennonite High School has a custodial position 

available immediately. Evening hours, good benefits. Contact Miles Yoder at 
717-299-0436; fax 717-299-0823; email office@lmhs.com. 

• Allegheny Mennonite Conference is seeking a full-time youth 
minister to begin Aug. 15, 1999. Areas of ministry include youth, junior 
high and children's activities. Mennonite Church salary guidelines will be 
used. Request more information or send resume to Allegheny Mennonite 
Conference, P.O. Box 12, Somerset, PA 15501; 814-443-2007; email 
ALLEGHENYCONFERENCE@compuserve.com by April 5, 1999. 

• Seattle Mennonite Church: full-time youth pastor. Active urban 
church seeks energetic, creative individual to expand youth program at Seat- 
tle Mennonite Church. Commitment to Anabaptist teachings, great commu- 
nication skills and B.A. in youth ministry or equivalent experience required. 
Contact Eileen Crawford, 206-523-2161 or email camila@gte.net 

• Menno-Hof seeks visitor center manager. This full-time position 
carries the responsibilities of day-to-day operations of this popular tourist 
educational center. Commitment to ministry and good people skills are cen- 
tral. Please write or call for job description. Menno-Hof, P.O. Box 701, Ship- 
shewana, IN 46565; 219-768-4117. 

• Oaklawn programs serving children, adolescents, adults and addic- 
tions have openings for case managers. Responsibilities include participa- 
tion in treatment planning, advocacy, identifying and obtaining needed 
community resources. Requirements: BA in mental health-related field with 
child, adolescent, adult or addictions experience preferred. Experience in 
case management a plus. 

Contact Oaklawn, Human Resources Dept., 330 Lakeview Drive, P.O. Box 
809, Goshen, IN 46527; 219-533-1234. EEO/AA 

• Mennonite Information Center in Berlin, Ohio, seeks executive 
director. This 1/2- to 3/4-time position will appeal to individuals with 
vision and an ability to relate to a diverse Anabaptist constituency. Training 
or experience in any combination of administration, fund-raising, Anabaptist 
studies, staff supervision or marketing is desirable. Salary competitive, 
retirees welcome. 

Call Steve Steiner, 330-893-2926 for information, or send application to 
Mennonite Information Center, Box 324, Berlin, OH 44610. Website 
http://pages.sssnet.com/behalt 

• Oaklawn is actively recruiting general psychiatrists to join our com- 
prehensive inpatient and/or outpatient clinical services. Oaklawn, sponsored 
by Mennonite Health Services, has over 30 years of experience providing a 
wide array of psychiatric services. Oaklawn's church sponsorship and motto, 
"Toward Health and Wholeness," exemplifies our commitment to addressing 
the mental, physical, social and spiritual needs of the people we serve. 
Located in the beautiful farming country of northern Indiana we enjoy the 
small-town atmosphere of the Goshen-Elkhart area. We are also in close 
proximity to South Bend, Chicago and Indianapolis. 

We look forward to discussing further with you employment opportuni- 
ties at Oaklawn. Please contact either Ray Hunsberger, Dir. Human 
Resources, or Carl Rutt, M.D., Medical Director, at 800-282-0809 or P.O. Box 
809, Goshen, IN 46527. 

• Mennonite Central Committee is actively recruiting for the Dam- 
ascus Road organizer/MCC East Coast staff associate for peace educa- 
tion for MCC U.S. and MCC East Coast. Qualifications include a personal pas- 
sion and sense of calling to the task of dismantling racism within and strong 
commitment to Mennonite and Brethren in Christ institutions; willingness to 
rely on the leading of the Holy Spirit for the entirety of this work; willingness 
to participate in the Damascus Road anti-racism process and agreement 
with the nine core principles undergirding the Damascus Road network; 
experience in group organizing (community-based, church-based, labor- 
based or in other areas); strong organizing skills, specifically, the ability to 
work well with a racially diverse range of people in the Anabaptist commu- 
nity, both leadership and laity; envision, implement and articulate organiz- 
ing strategy; adapt and revise plans midstream; motivate people to achieve 
new anti-racism goals and objectives; educate groups to the need for orga- 
nizing strategy; agitate the powerful when necessary; help people gain a 
sense of their own power; good communication skills (verbal and written); 



"W. 


hen students preach in my 
classes, they are the preachers and I 
am part of the congregation. In one 
semester I may hear 100-150 student 
sermons. Always the scripture is 
central — the Word is there, and it 
nourishes me. 



communication and preaching 



Associated 

Mennonite 

Biblical 

Seminary 


3003 Benham Avenue 
Elkhart, IN 46517 
219 295-3726 
1 + 800 964-AMBS 
admissions@ambs.edu 


training or experience in peace and justice concerns; ability to use or learn to 
use appropriate technology for organizing tasks (email, word processing, 
phone conferencing, etc.); familiarity with urban culture and life an asset. 
This is a full-time, two-year salaried position. All MCC workers are expected 
to exhibit a commitment to a personal Christian faith and discipleship, active 
church membership and nonviolent peacemaking. 

For more information, or to receive a copy of the job description, please 
contact Prem Dick or Goldie Kuhns at 717-859-1151; Mennonite Central 
Committee Human Resources Dept., or email psd@mcc.org or gpk@mcc.org. 
The last day to receive applications is April 30, 1999; starting date is June 1, 
1999. Candidates from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds and/or bilin- 
gual (Spanish-English) candidates are encouraged to apply. 


Classified and display 
advertising space is 
available to congrega- 
tions, conferences, 
businesses, church- 
wide boards. Call 800- 
790-2498 and ask for 
Melanie Mueller. 


22 


theMennonite March 23, 1999 


It 


by Gordon Houser 

Y ou’ve no doubt seen articles about it in 
newspapers or magazines or heard about 
it on radio or television. Next Jan. 1 ush- 
ers in, if not a new millennium, then at least a 
year that ends in 00. It’s the Y2K problem. 

Years ago, computer programmers, needing 
memory and lacking foresight, set up comput- 
ers using only two digits to refer to the year. 
Thus some software will read “00” as 1900, not 
2000, which may cause problems for whatever 
function is tied to that program. 

People debate how severe the problem will 
be come Jan. 1, 2000, but most agree there will 
be problems. 

David Wilhelm, in the Feb. 17 Christian 
Century, points out that in May, all 640,000 
National Guardsmen from across the United 
States will participate in a drill designed to pre- 
pare them to respond to the interruption of all 
telephone service. And even the CIA has a 
Y2K office. 

One factor of the Y2K bug is the huge cost 
of fixing it. The United Nations estimates the 
global cost of Y2K compliance at between $300 
billion and $600 billion. 

Different people take different approaches. 
The Chinese have ordered their airline execu- 
tives to fly on one of their planes on Jan. 1, 
2000. And Mennonite missionaries Christine 
and Phil Lindell Detweiler in Benin invite any- 
one concerned about Y2K to live with them in 
their village. 

A recent U.S. government report rated vari- 
ous segments of society according to their pre- 
paredness for the Y2K bug. Among those 
receiving the lowest ratings were the health- 
care industry and the Pentagon. That’s enough 
to cause a bit of anxiety even for an optimist. 

While some people, fearing the worst, 
stockpile food, generators and guns (see The 
Mennonite, March 9, page 15), many others 
generally ignore all the fuss and pretend that 
nothing will change. Perhaps we need a more 
balanced approach. 

That’s the watchword of a newsletter begun 
by Multnomah Publishers. The monthly 
Countdown Y2K seeks to offer “a balanced 
Christian approach” to the problem. Rather 
than emphasizing only taking care of yourself, 
it encourages Christians and churches to be 
prepared in order to help others as well. To 
order a subscription you may call toll free 
888-474-4925, fax 541-549-9704, email 
y2k@multnomahpubl.com or visit 
www.multnomahbooks.com. If you subscribe, 
use the source code MAG217. 


Multnomah also has published the book 
Y2K: The Millennium Bug by Shaunti Christine 
Feldhahn ($12.99), which presents possible 
scenarios and ways Christians can respond by 
helping people. 

The spring issue of Sharing, published by 
Mennonite Mutual Aid, includes ‘Tangling 
with the Y2K Bug” by Judy Martin Godshalk. 
With that article is a personal Y2K guide, 
which offers some advice for getting a better 
handle on your vulnerability to the problem. 

You may also want to visit web sites such as 
these: www.christianity2k.com and 
www.chrbook.com/Christian/Books/special- 
ty.html?special.id=1562, both of which offer 
warnings about tying this technological prob- 
lem to biblical prophecy. 

David Wilhelm calls Y2K an opportunity for 
contemplation, reflection and evangelism. He 
writes: “The national discussion of this topic 
should not be dominated by voices of fear and 
reaction.” 

What are you doing about it? Is your con- 
gregation discussing how to respond? Has 
your family talked about it? 



Things in Heaven and Earth: 
Exploring the Supernatural, 
edited by Harold Fickett 
(Paraclete Press, 1998, $20), 
includes 14 essays by Chris- 
tian writers of note. Their 
pieces come in varied forms, 
from personal stories to his- 
torical and biographical 
sketches to philosophical 
considerations. That variety, 
plus the quality of the writ- 
ing, makes this a com- 
pelling, provocative book. 

In his introduction, Fickett 
notes the "reigning skepti- 


cism" of our age that tends 
to stifle discussion of the 
supernatural. He writes: 
"Within the human spirit lies 
a disturbing counter to cyni- 
cism — a strange and almost 
inextinguishable hope that 
God loves us, that God hears 
us, and that God acts as if he 
does both." The writers 
include Madeleine L'Engle, 
Ron Hansen, Paul C. Vitz, 

Luci Shaw, Larry Woiwode 
and Doris Betts. This well- 
written book is worth 
exploring. 



A brief look at four recent 
films: 

Life Is Beautiful (PG-13) 
is a gutsy Italian film, a 
tragicomedy about the 
Holocaust. Calling itself a 
fable, it tells the story of a 
Jew who helps his young 
son survive Auschwitz by 
convincing him their impris- 
onment is a game. 

Hilary and Jackie (R) tells 
the story of famed cellist 
Jackie Dupre (played stun- 
ningly by Emily Watson) 
and her sister. Hilary is an 
excellent flautist who 
decides to live a more nor- 
mal life than her sister, 
whose bizarre behavior 
shows the perils of being a 
genius. 

October Sky (PG) is 
based on a true story of 
four West Virginia high 
school students in 1957-58 
who learn to build rockets. 
Though the plot is pre- 
dictable and the coal miner 
father of the main character 
is one-dimensional, it is 
nevertheless inspiring, 
saved by its being true. A 
rare film for the whole 
family. 

Rushmore (R) is not for 
the whole family. But this 
quirky film is endearing, as 
Max Fischer of Rushmore 
Academy, a genius in his 
own right, falls in love with 
a teacher and learns about 
loss and redemption. 



theMennonite March 23, 1999 


23 


Joel Kauffmanr 


rial editorial editorial editorial 



J. Lome Peachey 


Just when every- 
thing seems 
bleakest, just 
when I've con- 
cluded that this 
time for sure 
nothing good can 
come out of 
whatever despair 
I'm in, God comes 
through with 
another surprise. 


24 


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LIBRARY 

ASSOC MENN BIBLICAL SEM 
3003 BENHAM AVE 
ELKHART IN 46517-1999 

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Easter is to be surprised by joy . . . 


No matter that I’ve experienced close to 35 
springs in western Pennsylvania, I continue to 
be surprised when it happens: my first glimpse 
of a coltsfoot, that yellow dandelion-looking 
flower that pushes its way through dead leaves 
and mud, sometimes snow and ice, to tell me 
new life is about to happen. 

This year I had to go hunting for it. March 
has been more like January, with the cinder- 
crusted snow becoming more and more 
depressing. So I went for a drive — and finally 
saw them along a back country road by an ille- 
gal garbage dump, of all things: first a single 
yellow flower, then another, a third, and finally 
a whole bed of them when my eyes knew 
where to look. 

I never cease to thrill at the sight of the first 
coltsfoot of the season. I wonder if what I feel 
is what it was like for followers of Jesus after 
the resurrection. First one disciple saw the 
risen Lord, then another follower, and still a 
third. Out of the agony and despair, the be- 
wilderment and confusion, the anger and fear 
of the betrayal, trial and crucifixion, here was a 
glimpse of new life. Jesus might still be among 
them. What a surprise! What joy! 

My favorite story of surprised recognition 
of the resurrected Jesus comes from John 21. 
Completely dispirited by what they had just 
gone through, seven of the disciples turned to 
the only thing they knew: fishing. But even 
here they had lost their touch; fishing all 
night, they caught nothing. It was John who 


saw the first sign of new life, the first “colts- 
foot” of a new beginning. “It is the Lord!” he 
whispered to Peter when he recognized the 
figure on the shore bending over a charcoal 
fire. 

Peter completely lost his head in surprise. 
He pulled on some clothes and jumped into 
the water. (Common sense would have it the 
other way around, not?) I can’t image a joy 
more complete than Peter’s must have been as 
he pulled himself from the water and ran up 
the shore to Jesus. 

Yet in spite of knowing the story will end in 
resurrection, how often, like Peter and the 
other disciples, I come to Easter with little 
faith that anything new can poke its way 
through the dullness and the evil of everyday 
existence. Even in the church I find myself 
mired by debates and disagreements, with the 
endless repetition of doing things the way 
we’ve always done them, with the seeming 
impossibility of new life emerging from tired 
structures that resist any kind of change. 

But I should know. Just when everything 
seems bleakest, just when I’ve concluded that 
this time for sure nothing good can come out 
of whatever despair I’m in, God comes 
through. It’s happened to me often enough 
now that I should be getting used to it. But I’m 
not. I continue to be surprised by surprise, 
awed by the newness that God can bring — 
much like my sighting the first coltsfoot of a 
western Pennsylvania spring.—;//) 


. . . even in the work we are called to do 


We who edit this magazine week after week 
come into Easter 1999 experiencing our own 
surprises. 

After our two issues on homosexuality and 
the church this past January, we lost count at 
93 subscription cancellations and more than 
150 other communications via either letter or 
email. As you might imagine, we went through 
considerable second-guessing about some edi- 
torial judgments we had made. 

But then we saw it: the first sign of some- 
thing different. It came in the form of a $500 
contribution as a result of a letter we sent out 
in late January to U.S. subscribers requesting 


donations to help keep subscription costs 
down. 

That $500 became a trickle, then a stream, 
eventually almost a flood. To date, more than 
700 subscribers have donated $27,400 to our 
work. That’s a 3.9 percent response — a most 
respectful figure, we’ve been told by people 
who work in this field. 

What a surprise! What joy! Thank you to all 
who contributed to our work in this way. In our 
gratitude we are also humbled. Response like 
this keeps us striving to become an even bet- 
ter medium of